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Countdown to 50% share: Google approaching antitrust "dominant" status -- Part I

An interesting and relevant antitrust milestone is coming for Google -- maybe as soon as this year -- Google is poised to pass the significant 50% market share "dominant" threshold in antitrust.

This is relevant because when Google exceeds 50% market share, the antitrust "rule of thumb" is that Google will be considered by antitrust authorities to be a "dominant" company.

  • Market "dominance" could warrant "stricter scrutiny" to ensure that they are achieving that "dominance" legally through "superior business acumen" and not illegally through "anti-competitive behavior."

This will be interesting milestone to many because:

  • Google is a leading whiner about the anticompetitive behavior of others (i.e. Microsoft, and the broadband companies/net neutrality) which means an army of industry antitrust lawyers will be watching them like a hawk for anything untoward that they do.
  • Once they pass the "dominant" barrier, the practical effect is to put Google's business practices/contracts under the micoscope of industry, antitrust authorities, State AGs, and Hill antitrust subcommittees.  
  • Google, more than probably any other company, is powerfully and aggressively disrupting traditional markets by leveraging its near dominant search share to change the economics of adjacent markets to its exclusive advantage.
  • The fact that the market dominance in search will make Google the "dominant" Internet gatekeeper for all content online -- will only magnify the antitrust scrutiny of Google over time.  

Let the countdown to 50% begin.