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Justice Department to sue Google over search dominance

Go to solution Solved by Random_Person1234,
7 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

I use DuckDuckGo myself.

I use DuckDuckGo as well,but sometimes it doesn't return the results for what i was searching for so i have no choice but to use Google at those times.

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4 minutes ago, Vishera said:

I use DuckDuckGo as well,but sometimes it doesn't return the results for what i was searching for so i have no choice but to use Google at those times.

Never had that happen to me.

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So... It's Google's fault that their search engine is being used by most and nobody in their right mind wants to use Bing and the others ?

They are not forcing anybody to use their search engine, last I checked. Even if they do pay companies (like Mozilla) to prefer Google Search over alternatives, you as the user are never locked down specifically to only Google Search.

Imagine getting sued because you made a product that's widely used, but the competition is garbage so you must be bought down a peg...

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4 minutes ago, TetraSky said:

So... It's Google's fault that their search engine is being used by most and nobody in their right mind wants to use Bing and the others ?

They are not forcing anybody to use their search engine, last I checked. Even if they do pay companies (like Mozilla) to prefer Google Search over alternatives, you as the user are never locked down specifically to only Google Search.

Imagine getting sued because you made a product that's widely used, but the competition is garbage so you must be bought down a peg...

The particulars of the lawsuit are not discussed.  If they are USING their search dominance as a weapon in other areas that would be an anti-trust violation.  I don’t know what the particulars are though.  I would assume that simply dominating search is not the issue as they’ve done that for a very very long time. 

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I see the cheeto has unleashed the The "Barr"ister once again for his own personal uses

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9 hours ago, lexusgamer05 said:

why is the US govt wasting their time like this? There are far more important issues at hand rather than a search engine that just happens to be really popular.

Law enforcement is not a ranking. Selective law enforcement is not enforcement, and arbitrary pick-and-choose enforcement is contrary to rule of law.

But fundamentally, "why doing right thing X instead of right thing Y?" is a gigantic fallacy. If you are against X, argue how it's bad. "I'm sure this is distracting resources from some unspecified more important matter" is not an argument.

 

 

8 hours ago, Moonzy said:

Sometimes I wonder why monopoly happens, then I sit down and think

Usually, the combination of three things:

- Everyone wants one, because it's more profitable (that's always present)

- There are technological / scale barriers to competition that make it feasible

- Insufficient enforcement of competition policies

 

Sometimes the last two are replaced by pure legal monopolies (i.e., there would be competition but a law said there can be only one)

 

8 hours ago, Moonzy said:

What's better for consumers?

 

1-2 major companies using huge budget to improve their single service that everyone uses, since revenue isn't split too much.

 

Or

 

Total revenue split into 10 companies,

10 companies hands down. Although 10 is probably still too few.

 

8 hours ago, Moonzy said:

each improving their products by 1/5 the rate of above companies due to less revenue stream to each.

You cannot apply that rule of thumb, though. In fact, if each company would literally perform 1/5 of the innovation, then the total innovation in the industry may as well remain the same. However, there are arguments to be made for why it would be much less than 1/5 and much more than 1/5, so you need to dig deeper in the characteristics of the particular industry to tell which force dominates.

In general, though, monopoly rents are their own reward, so innovation suffers from lack of competition - especially innovation that benefits the consumer. Google hasn't stopped finding new ways to monetize their dominance, although its quality from a user perspective is past its peak.

 

 

4 hours ago, miagisan said:

I just bought my wife a new car, do you think i went to one dealership (google) without checking a few other dealerships first (bing, yahoo, etc)?

Well, if you had found all dealerships through a Google search you would still be confirming his point... If we are going to use the "most people" line, I claim that most people compare between alternatives found through one search engine, not between results from multiple engines. They take the engine as "neutral" even though it's not.

 

 

1 hour ago, Moonzy said:

so you'd rather have more options than better options?

I don't think there's such a trade-off: more options is what fosters useful innovation and hence "better options". The undeterred process of consolidation you talk about does reduce the number of options, and while it doesn't immediately reduce their quality (sometimes it does literally lead to worse options once the monopoly/oligopoly state is reached), it reduces the incentives to improve the value their offer, so at the very least it becomes "not as fast improving options".

Point is, a monopolist may have more money, but far fewer reasons to invest it in consumer-relevant innovations.

In the end, the key to nonstop innovation is the credible threat of either losing market share to competitors or the entry of new, fierce competitors. Practices like paying to be the default engine clearly go against such principle.

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Just now, Bombastinator said:

If they are USING their search dominance as a weapon in other areas that would be an anti-trust violation.  I don’t know what the particulars are though.

They stifled competition by paying manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine.

That's a clear anti-trust violation.

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While their doing this lawsuit maybe they could do something about the crap search results I get now. 

I used to get great results when searching for something on google.

Now it's like they handed me off to some guy in some small town somewhere who don't know what he's doing.

For the last few years most every time I search for something on google I get bizarre crap results that just frustrate me. 😠  

I like google but it doesn't seem to like me anymore. 😄

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1 minute ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

if each company would literally perform 1/5 of the innovation, then the total innovation in the industry may as well remain the same.

until copyright kicks in -stares at asetek-

and sometimes they spend money on developing the same thing, so it's less efficient there too

 

2 minutes ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

far fewer reasons to invest it in consumer-relevant innovations.

In the end, the key to nonstop innovation is the credible threat of either losing market share to competitors or the entry of new, fierce competitors.

agreed

 

4 minutes ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

10 companies hands down. Although 10 is probably still too few

i would say it depends on the industry it's in

some industry it's easy to enter and compete (like retail)

some industry is basically impossible due to the stages of development of other companies (like CPU, GPU, ISP, search engine)

I'd like to have more options, but new companies are gonna be like Linux, stuck in the chicken and egg problem for decades now.

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Just now, Intergalacticbits said:

For the last few years most every time I search for something on google I get bizarre crap results that just frustrate me. 😠  

It's because half of the first page is results promoted by money and a bit of relevance.

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2 minutes ago, Moonzy said:

and sometimes they spend money on developing the same thing, so it's less efficient there too

They can co-operate like how Intel and AMD did with the x86_64 instruction set.

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9 hours ago, lexusgamer05 said:

why is the US govt wasting their time like this?

The US govt has always functioned on a "wasting time and tax money" mode forever. Just a bunch of boomers scared of new tech.

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6 minutes ago, Vishera said:

They can co-operate like how Intel and AMD did with the x86_64 instruction set.

pretty sure one of them regrets that decision 🤔

My PCs: Desky | Beddie | Miney | Benchie

Things I need help with: (nothing at the moment)

Spoiler

none atm

I hate Intel's pricing, Ryzen's weird quirks, Nvidia's pricing, and Radeon GPUs in general

Spoiler

Products I like:

Spoiler

Sony Xperia Z1 / Z2 / 10 ii, Asus Strix 970 / 1070, Samsung SSD, WD HDD, Corsair PSUs (AX, RM, CX(grey)), GeForce GPU, NZXT N450/S340, be quiet! Coolers, G.Skill Trident RAM, Logitech M525, Logitech G440, Razer Deathadder Elite

Products I hate:

Spoiler

Xperia Z3, XiaoMi 5c, Radeon GPUs, Razer Audio Products, any bloatwares

Companies I absolutely adore: (and hope it stays that way)

Spoiler

be quiet! - sent me AM4 mounting for my DRP3 even though it's way past the timeframe stated, no questions asked

Corsair - very good RMA experience, absolutely recommend

Companies I hate:

Spoiler

Nvidia, Intel, Apple, TMT (Thundermatch, a retailer)

Personal Blacklisted Companies:

Spoiler

Acer: shit tier quality products, shit tier customer service thus far, they "tried" to solve my issue but they arent really doing anything but delaying and delaying. (on-going case since July)

Gigabyte: horrible customer service (gigabyte had literally 0 customer service, asked me to go to retailer with NO WAY to email them about a question) but at least they fixed my shit in ONE MONTH (would probably take me 1 hour to fix if they let me email them)

XiaoMi Phones: built like a tank but the software is buggy as all hell

Seagate HDD: had too many dead seagate drives

Kingston SSD: 300V controller swap thingy

Razer (except their mouse)

Remember, just because I had good/bad experiences with these companies/product, doesn't mean you will have similar experiences too. I would still recommend these products if they made sense for your needs, but I'll add a disclaimer of my experience if it's relevant. Feel free to DM me asking why they are where they are.

 

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Just now, Minicoop said:

The US govt has always functioned on a "wasting time and tax money" mode forever. Just a bunch of boomers scared of new tech.

The US is the country that spends the most in the entire world,In 2019 the US government spent 4.4 trillion dollars resulting in a deficit of almost a trillion (which means they took almost a trillion dollars in loans from government bonds).

In comparison China which has more than 3 times the population of the US,spent 3.8 trillion resulting in a deficit of almost half a trillion.

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24 minutes ago, Vishera said:

They stifled competition by paying manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine.

That's a clear anti-trust violation.

Is that what the charge is? They’ve been doing that for a very very long time.  Many have. That sort of supports @S w a t s o n‘s read on the situation.

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1 minute ago, Bombastinator said:

Is that what the charge is? They’ve been doing that for a very very long time.  Many have. That sort of supports @S w a t s o n‘s read on the situation.

It's the main one,here is a quote from the article:

Quote

the case on search is expected to focus on Google’s agreements with other companies like Apple, which set its search engine as the default option for users on iPhones and other devices. Those agreements give Google’s search engine an advantage over other rivals.

 

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Just now, Vishera said:

It's the main one,here is a quote from the article:

 

Yeah. “Is expected to” means nearly nothing though. Expected by whom? for one.  It might have been in the inditement(sp?) there is an old saying though “any prosecutor worth his salt can indite a ham sandwich”.

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11 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

Yeah. “Is expected to” means nearly nothing though. Expected by whom? for one.  It might have been in the inditement(sp?) there is an old saying though “any prosecutor worth his salt can indite a ham sandwich”.

Found it,from POLITICO:

Quote

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

So those are leaks...

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1 hour ago, Moonzy said:

until copyright kicks in -stares at asetek-

and sometimes they spend money on developing the same thing, so it's less efficient there too

Well, you are right in a sense, but patent/copyright are literally legal monopolies and act as barriers of entry, hence the wasteful result. Competition would be if other companies could freely make their own AIOs, meaning Asetek needs to come up with something else next year to stay ahead, rather than dwell on the same patent forever ;) 

 

1 hour ago, Moonzy said:

 

agreed

 

i would say it depends on the industry it's in

some industry it's easy to enter and compete (like retail)

some industry is basically impossiblle

That's where regulation kicks in: extreme examples would be something like electricity, where generating it efficiently involve huge plants and distributing it implies an infrastructure that scales infinitely, so it's also highly inefficient to have multiple providers each building their own network, Such industries, where monopolies arise purely from the technology involved, are often labeled "natural monopolies", as the market can't support multiple efficient companies. In those cases you can first separate the public good (e.g., the distribution network) from the more "appropriable" portion, then regulate the market for the latter so to avoid monopolistic results. Although regulating itself is a problem, there's regulator "capture" (when the players are better informed than the regulator about the details, and interact so much and so closely with the regulator that it basically embraces their point of view, rather than the consumers'), etc. It becomes a problem of second best, or fifth best, or something, in any case...

 

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1 hour ago, Vishera said:

They stifled competition by paying manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine.

That's a clear anti-trust violation.

Honestly, I don't have a problem with Google paying to have their as a default search engine.  I'd hate to think what would happen to FireFox if Google was barred from paying them for being the default search engine.

 

With that said, I do think Google oversteps their bounds in terms of Android (in that they prevent device makers from using alternative OS's or even the stock Android without the play store even if one device they manufacture uses Play Store...that sort of thing needs to be corrected).

 

No matter what, it is a tricky issue.  There really isn't a right answer in this.  Split the company up, and you create inefficiencies and undermine some of the ways Alphabet/Google can make a profit.  Youtube comes to mind, they bled money left right and center until google stepped in and utilized their servers and ads to make it sustainable.

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33 minutes ago, Vishera said:

Found it,from POLITICO:

So those are leaks...

If that’s really what they are going after it’s going to cause massive repercussions outside Google if they win.  That sort of behavior is actually common. @S w a t s o n may very much have the right of it then.

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I mean...I get the whole anti-monopoly thing but seriously, Google is the most used search engine for a reason. It gives the cleanest, most relevant results for like 99% of searches. Try anyone else's search engine and its usually a waste of your god damn time because they don't index pages even half as well.

 

If they want to complain Google has a monopoly on search engines, how about you just make your own damn search engine better. It's like a fat guy complaining an athlete is faster than him at the 100m sprint. How about you just work harder and try to keep up instead of trying to feed the athlete abunch of cheese burgers so you might have a chance.

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7 hours ago, Morgan MLGman said:

Probably because Google has far more power and reach than any of us even imagine. Just think about this - if Google decided to "adjust" search results so it fits whatever the company's current goal is, it could influence virtually most of the human population.

Yeah. They already do that. They also use, well, all of their other online platforms for that purpose. Hence why Youtube has been sued for such things numerous times in countries that are not the US.


They also give all of your data straight to the good 'ol boys at that agency that doesn't actually exist (actually, technically the DNI, but we all know which agency is most interested in your online data). They do this in exchange for "indemnity" as part of a bill called CISA: Cyber Surveillance Information Sharing act. 

To cover my bases when people look that up, the bill was not passed as a standalone. However, it's text was passed as part of the 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill.

7 hours ago, CarlBar said:

That is indeed going to e the hard part. One possibility from what I've seen said in the past is that they could force google to spin off the search engine a a seperate company from their other holdings.

 

Thats said the proposed investigation into digital advertising could easily have much more major implications. Google search is so good in large part because it's got so much funding behind it. If that gets dinged noticeably it could really affect things.

Spinning it off into it's own company seems a likely outcome. I doubt they will do much about advertising, since that will also change things for, well, every other business as well: Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon...

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12 minutes ago, TigerHawk said:

I mean...I get the whole anti-monopoly thing but seriously, Google is the most used search engine for a reason. It gives the cleanest, most relevant results for like 99% of searches. Try anyone else's search engine and its usually a waste of your god damn time because they don't index pages even half as well.

 

If they want to complain Google has a monopoly on search engines, how about you just make your own damn search engine better. It's like a fat guy complaining an athlete is faster than him at the 100m sprint. How about you just work harder and try to keep up instead of trying to feed the athlete abunch of cheese burgers so you might have a chance.

Except it doesn’t anymore.  Still beats bing and yahoo by a mile.  They’re not everything though.  There are whole corporations with years of experience who’s sole job is gaming google results. Security through obscurity is giving the small search engines a leg up these days.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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15 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

Honestly, I don't have a problem with Google paying to have their as a default search engine.  I'd hate to think what would happen to FireFox if Google was barred from paying them for being the default search engine.

Maybe they would be forced to look for a legitimate, sustainable business model. Maybe having a browser on life support from the makers of their main competitor isn't exactly healthy, not just if such financial support is severed, but also while it remains in place...

 

15 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

Split the company up, and you create inefficiencies and undermine some of the ways Alphabet/Google can make a profit. 

Yes, monopolistic positions are a way to make profit, and eliminating those rents is an intended outcome.

 

15 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

 

Youtube comes to mind, they bled money left right and center until google stepped in and utilized their servers and ads to make it sustainable.

Is it sustainable, though? Is it a good thing that a video service juggernaut is blocking the door for any service that could remotely compete with it thanks to being cross-subsidies within Alphabet? What's next, if Alphabet as a whole starts making losses we'll let Amazon take over so the emerging Amazoogle is "sustainable" as a whole?

Maybe, just maybe, if Youtube was such a money-bleeding machine it should have fallen to upcoming, more streamlined competitors? I can run the most popular bar in town too, as long as someone pays all my costs while I offer all drinks free to everyone, and shutting every other bar down, it doesn't mean that the town will be left with the best bar or bar owner...

 

 

I mean, people ask "how are these giant corporations stay the same if we enforce competition policies", when the point is they shouldn't, their existence is our failure, and the extent to which their business model depends on a lack of competition policy enforcement is telling.

The sad part is that their PR departments had been very effective in generating some variant of Stockholm syndrome in a sizable fraction of the population...

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