I find it hilarious that the EU, and, now the US, are trying to paint Google as a monopolist.
Google does not have a monopoly.
What they do have are users who CHOOSE to grant Google a monopoly.
And that is a totally different ball of wax.
You know which companies have a monopoly?
- Your cable company (in many parts of the US)
- Your phone company (in many parts of the US)
- Your electric company (in most of the US).
But Google? Nah. You can break up with Google and still get access to:
- Multiple options for search engines including privacy focused ones like duck-duck-go.
- Hundreds of options for email
- Many options for sharing documents and online storage including Microsoft and many smaller players such as drop-box.
- Multiple options for maps
- Apple for phones that are just as powerful
- Microsoft and AWS for cloud computing
Are they as user friendly or convenient or accurate? No – but that’s competitors issues, not a Google issue. Just because the majority of users WANT to use a service does not mean the the service has a monopoly.
A monopoly should be defined as having little choice in your providers. That’s far from the case with Google.
Users choose to grant Google a monopoly and that’s for multiple very good reasons.
I can guarantee you that if Google’s search results started to be less accurate or their email started to be less reliable or user friendly, users would leave in droves.
Because they have a choice.
That is not a monopoly.
That’s a company that is doing everything they can to service AND keep their users from defecting to competitors. Which is good for the users and Google.
But that doesn’t matter it seems. Take the EU…
Only in the EU can you find a reason to fine a company billions of dollars for giving away an operating system that you have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in creating and charge zero dollars for. And they wonder why there are no world-dominating tech companies located there…
But I digress….
For similar reasons, I do not consider Amazon and Facebook monopolies. Facebook is not essential to most things in daily life. Shut it down and the worst that happens is that businesses have to find other ways to advertise to users.
Amazon’s primary driver of profits is AWS for which there are at least two other companies that offer that service. Their retail business is less than 10% of all retail business in the US. If Amazon has a monopoly in retail then surely Walmart must be considered one too.
Users have choices – they just choose NOT to exercise those choices because its convenient to use Amazon. That’s not Amazon’s fault – that’s the fault of competitors who simply can’t offer a better experience or value proposition.
But, hey, in the current tech backlash that’s all irrelevant.