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Google Chairman To Testify At Antitrust Hearing 93

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-the-congressional-monopoly? dept.
bonch writes "Following a threat of subpoena, Google chairman Eric Schmidt will be testifying at a Senate antitrust subcommittee in September. Google has denied acting anticompetitively and cites its success as the cause of the increased scrutiny. The Federal Trade Commission and European Commission have both launched antitrust investigations into the company, and the Justice Department is also conducting a criminal probe into their acceptance of ads from rogue web pharmacies, an investigation Google has set aside $500 million to settle."
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Google Chairman To Testify At Antitrust Hearing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 09, 2011 @02:44PM (#36706376)

    Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that, why would anyone use google any more?

    If google is a monopoly (not saying they are or are not), they are so because it's what people made them. This isn't like Standard Oil where one company can make it impossible to buy from others. There are a bunch of search engines just a URL away. Google hasn't removed them from the internet.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @02:52PM (#36706454) Homepage

    Chrome is getting to be as intrusive as IE used to be.

  • by RasputinAXP (12807) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @02:59PM (#36706502) Homepage Journal

    You mean one blue bar across the top and an "install Chrome" button on the top right? That ain't spammy. The MSN homepage, now that's spammy.

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @03:10PM (#36706564)

    ...how is that even possible? IE was pre-installed and impossible to completely remove. How is Chrome anywhere near as "intrusive" as that? Not only that but Google never forces you to install Chrome to use any of their services.

    I smell bullshit.

  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @03:14PM (#36706602) Journal

    Google is also evilly leveraging their monopoly position to get marketshare in other areas. The very same thing that Microsoft did in the 90's.

    Just to correct a critical part of your argument: in the 90's there was essentially no viable alternative to Microsoft's monopoly OS; however, there are any number of alternative web search services as viable alternatives to Google. To the extent that Google has a monopoly, it is one they are either (i) voluntarily granted by consumers, or (ii) retain only by inertia. Either way, the alternatives in search are viable and a Google monopoly can persist only if the alternatives are worse. This is in stark contrast to the Microsoft monopoly, which was truly evil (and apparently still strives to remain a monopoly).

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @03:23PM (#36706632)

    Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that, why would anyone use google any more?

    Why would I care if they track my searches? Will they e-mail porn searches to my parents? Because that would be rather awkward, but otherwise it doesn't matter.

    There are search engines that don't track me, have equal or better methods of keeping junk from polluting the top hits, don't actually track me, don't have intrusive ads, and scout's honor don't really track me? Well then, I'll use them if I have any reason to.

  • by npsimons (32752) * on Saturday July 09, 2011 @03:54PM (#36706824) Homepage Journal

    Chrome is getting to be as intrusive as IE used to be.

    How do you mean? Are there websites which require you to use to Chrome to access them? Has Google intentionally broken standards in Chrome to "enhance" its users web experience? Does GMail or any of Google's other services turn you away if you're not using Chrome? Does Google use undocumented APIs to make Chrome run faster than other browsers? Is Chrome so deeply embedded in the OS (on purpose) that you can't uninstall it completely without using a third party hack?

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @04:29PM (#36707082) Homepage

    The problem, of course, is that testifying before the Senate is a lose-lose situation.

    These are public events that are really grandstanding occasions for senators to work on soundbites for their campaigns. Whoever is "testifying" is just a target for those soundbites. Play target well, and they will shoot you down - "look, we politicians are for the common man and against big business". Defend yourself effectively - show the Senators to be wrong or (more likely) totally uninformed - and suffer the dagger through the cloak instead of the public hanging.

  • by Bengie (1121981) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @04:46PM (#36707162)

    "Given that they track EVERYTHING you do, and there are other competing search engines which do not do that, why would anyone use google any more?"

    It's the tracking that makes them so good. Next you'll be complaining about how Google indexes the internet.

  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @05:52PM (#36707522)

    Not to mention that it cost businesses a whole lot of money to switch away from Microsoft. It doesn't cost me anything to type in the URL of an alternate search engine. The only reason I stopped using AltaVista when Google came out was because Google's search results were much better. People figured out how to abuse the meta tag system and Google's algorithm side-stepped that abuse. Give me another minimalist-design search engine that does what Google does better and I'll use that instead (as long as it isn't owned or partnered with Microsoft or Oracle, that is).

    In the 90s I would always get so angry when Bill Gates said stuff like, "The government is trying to punish us for our success." That was bullshit and he knew it. But that statement seems valid when applied to Google today. These politicians are in the pocket of Google's competitors. Namely, Microsoft.

    Hopefully Schmidt sticks it to these fuckers on camera: "Well, gee, Senator, what I'd like to know is why you're on this panel when you take such large campaign donations from my largest competitors. Don't you think there's a conflict of interest here?"

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