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Googleopoly X: Google's Dominance is Spreading at an Accelerating Rate -- See Pictorial Analysis

Please see the full pictorial analysis in “Googleopoly X: Google’s Dominance is Spreading at an Accelerating Rate"here.”

The conclusions and recommendations for antitrust authorities are reprinted below.

  • Note: Given the old adage is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, please don’t miss the Googleopoly pictorial charts that: make this complex subject much simpler and more accessible; tell this important story more interestingly and clearly, and enable the reader to better understand the critically important big picture dynamics addressed in this analysis.

A. Conclusions:

  1. Google’s dominance is spreading at an accelerating rate.
  2. Google is most actively & rapidly extending its search dominance into video, mobile, and social.
  3. Google reached 1 billion users in ~13 years. Google is on pace to reach a billion: video users in ~8-9 years, mobile users in ~5 years, and social users in ~3 years.
  4. Competition is fundamentally different on the Internet than it is offline, because the Internet’s frictionless connectivity spawns “viral” growth attributes & “winner-take-all” market dynamics.
  5. Google+ enables systematic cross-leveraging of the Internet’s most critical functionalities: search, video, mobile and social, to yield unmatchable viral “inter-network effects.” 
  6. Google systematically excludes competitors from competing for the half of Google search traffic that originates from sites other than Google properties. 
  7. The combination of Google’s leverage of the Internet’s “winner-take-all” dynamic and its systematic exclusion of search syndication competition for half of all of Google’s searches produces a self-reinforcing feedback loop of dominance.
  8. The result of this feedback loop is a digital information marketplace where Google maintains the most comprehensive offering of information supply, demand and distribution.
  9. If competitors cannot compete with Google’s vastly more comprehensive offering in either: supply, demand or distribution of information, they certainly can’t compete against a vastly more comprehensive integrated offering of all three of these dimensions of Internet dominance.  
  10. Internet competition already confronts an exceptionally unlevel playing field that is becoming unlevel at an accelerating rate via Google’s rapidly spreading Internet dominance.

B. Recommendations for Antitrust Authorities

1.  Maintain a realistic view of Google Inc.

  • The record shows Google is a serial antitrust violator and recidivist, having violated antitrust laws in ten different ways over the last five years. The record shows Google has a poor and defiant track record with settlements. The record shows Google often operates as if it is above the law. The also record shows that Google embraces a culture of unaccountability. Forewarned is forearmed.

2.  Maintain a dynamic view of Google’s behavior.

  • Since Internet competition is naturally faster-changing, more complex, and more technical than offline market competition, recognize that Google has a much-greater-than-normal time, knowledge, and resource advantage over antitrust authorities, meaning that it can more easily slow-roll the enforcement process to create a fait accompli and to effectively moot the potential for much antitrust enforcement.
  • Time is on Google’s side in its race for broader dominance before antitrust authorities catch on to how rapidly and pervasively Google’s dominance is spreading into other Internet markets. Simply, Google is cross-leveraging and extending its search-related dominance much faster than antitrust authorities’ capacity to investigate it.
  • Absent sweeping , meaningful, contemporaneous law enforcement supervision of Google by antitrust authorities, Google’s dominance will spread to multiple adjacent markets in the next few years.  

3.  Maintain a holistic Internet view of the unique Google antitrust threat.

  • Google’s rapid extension of its dominance means this is no longer just a search antitrust problem, it implicates video-YouTube, mobile-Android, social-Google+, location-Maps, apps-Play, monetization-Analytics/DoubleClick/Admob etc.  Google’s unlimited Internet-wide ambitions and efforts require antitrust authorities to be vigilant throughout the ecosystem.    
  • If authorities conclude Google functions as a multi-sided business model and a de facto brokerage exchange for information and content monetization, and also conclude that Google has a search and search advertising monopoly of 90+%, the logical other half of this antitrust equation is that Google also has monopsony buying power for Internet content. (See Googleopoly IV for background and details on Google’s monopsony power over digital information.)
  • To simplify the antitrust enforcement task, focus on indentifying recurring patterns of Google’s anti-competitive behavior: exclusive contracts, full-line-forcing, tying, property infringement, misrepresentation/undisclosed conflicts, & breaking terms of services, licenses, & contracts. 
Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths