Is Google a monopoly? And a control-freak?


control-freakFrom today’s New York Times, “Everyone Loves Google, Until It’s Too Big“: THE popularity of Google’s search engine in the United States just grows and grows. In the past three years, its market share gains have even been accelerating, making some people wonder whether the company will eventually obliterate what remains of its competition in search. … “You almost feel sorry for Google,” said Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of Search Engine Land. “They’re doing a good job and people are turning to them. But when they pass 70 percent share, people are going to be uncomfortable about Google becoming a monopoly.” … In January, Stack Overflow received more than three million visits referred by 22 search engines. Of those, 99.34 percent were from Google. Jeff Atwood, a co-founder of Stack Overflow, said: “I have no beef with Google. I like Google. But I’m concerned. If you project this trend forward four years, just follow the graph. A world in which there is no competition strikes me as unhealthy.” [ Read full article ]

Also, on Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (summer 08), the authors argue among other things: “Can you control who sees all that personal information about you? Can email be truly confidential, when nothing seems to be private? Shouldn’t the Internet be censored the way radio and TV are? Is it really a federal crime to download music? When you use Google or Yahoo! to search for something, how do they decide which sites to show you? Do you still have free speech in the digital world? Do you have a voice in shaping government or corporate policies about any of this?”

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