Google Continues to Concern Antitrust Policymakers reports Ranked Results
Ability to hold quality search results random is disconcerting
The engineers determined that it was not the fault of the company, and traffic from Google’s search engine simply continued to decline until it reached nearly 50% of its former placing.
Nextag responded by doubling its spending on the Google paid search advertising over a half-year period. A move that Katz said was necessary to retain shoppers, as 60% of Nextag’s traffic is from Google, both through free searches as well as paid.
“We had to do it,” says Katz, who works as Chief Executive of Wize Commerce and owner of Nextag. “We’re living in a Google world.”
Such relationships and outcomes regarding Google’s possible stranglehold on such companies like Nextag is the subject of both United States and European courts and lawmakers. Google holds 67% of the search market, and collects 75% of search ad dollars. The concern is not that the company is big, but how it utilizes its power, which could be in violation of antitrust regulations.
Most see Google’s relationship with websites, publishers, and advertisers as lopsided, if not wholly unfair. Still, Google provides opportunity that cannot be denied. It generates $80 billion in revenue and gives ground for 1.8 million businesses, sites, and non-profits in the U.S. alone.
Google has been noted by antitrust officials for its sometimes highly aggressive moves to squelch competition. The largest concern is that Google provides favoritism to companies that pay more for its services, such as Google Shopping and Google Places over lesser rivals.
For those who have to decide what is, and is not, fair, it can be a difficult line to draw.
"What to do with an attractive monopolist, like Google, is a really challenging issue for antitrust," says Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and a former senior adviser to the FTC. "The goal is to encourage them to stay in power by continuing to innovate instead of excluding competitors."
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