The European Commission vs What People Want |

The European Commission vs What People Want

The antitrust case is a case of fear

The European Commission vs What People Want

A couple of days ago, the European Commission (EC) said Google is in breach of European Union antitrust rules with its restrictions on Android device manufacturers and network operators.

Beyond devices and networks, the EC is more importantly saying that Google has “implemented a strategy on mobile devices to preserve and strengthen its dominance in... search. ...Google Search is pre-installed and set as the (default search service) on most Android devices sold in Europe.”

This is paranoia. It just shows that Google is the most powerful corporation on Earth. (OK, maybe it’s McDonald’s or Intel or Wal-Mart, I don’t know. Just google it. But you get the idea.)

This case seems to be about mobiles, but it sounds exactly like the Microsoft case of many years ago: US vs Microsoft, 2001, was about whether MS had abused its monopoly on PCs in its “handling of operating system and web browser sales.” The main point back then was whether MS could bundle Internet Explorer with Windows.

We hated IE back then, we hate IE now. Things settled down, and we could uninstall IE if we wanted.

These cases sound so similar, but there's a huge difference: There might be a better operating system than Windows. (Perhaps one with a name that starts with the letter “M”.) There are definitely better browsers than IE. But search?

Can you think of anything better than Google?

Even when Google had just begun, people were crazy about it. It's now the norm, and with fantastic reason. Sure, it tracks you and all that, but can you imagine a startup building a monolith like this? We say “startup” because you'll need to start up to even give a hint of competition to Google. The sheer accuracy is such that in 2016, we just type in a question or phrase and we (most often) get what we want.

In case you’re saying “Google alternatives,” here’s a recent piece from searchenginewatch that lists 14. Most seem whimsical as alternatives, but the article says about Bing: “Bing often gives twice as many autocomplete suggestions than Google does.” But, but, when Google’s autocomplete is perfect, why do we need more suggestions?

That's why we're saying the EC is being paranoid. People just want Google, dammit!


Tags : Google, European Union