p2pnet view Advertising:- Google is using its dominant position in online search to edge out other Internet businesses, “ultimately limiting consumer choice”, says a new report.
The mammoth US online advertising company has “nearly doubled its market share to almost 80%”, says Traffic report: how Google squeezing out competitors and muscling into new markets from Consumer Watchdog.
“That is the legal definition of a monopoly, according to the federal courts, which have held that a firm achieves ‘monopoly power’ when it gains between 70% and 80% of a market”, states the organisation’s new web site, Inside Google.
The report asks if Google has erected “barriers to entry” in markets such as video by “manipulating its search results” so users “are directed primarily or exclusively toward Google’s own services, such as YouTube”.
Its “dominance in video and its huge gains in other markets such as local search and comparison shopping correlates with these increasing efforts by Google to promote its own services within search results”, says the report, continuing >>>
This practice, which amounts to a new business model, appears to be an abandonment of Google’s pledge to provide neutral search capability.
The most striking example of how this practice enables Google to muscle its way into new markets is the lucrative market for local search. Google now inserts results from Google Maps into the first page of results from most Google searches, driving enormous traffic toward Google Maps and away from competitors.
Google now has more than half the market for local search.
“The ultimate significance of these developments is that they spell a rapid decline in choice for consumers”, says the Consumer Watchdog report, continuing:
“Increasingly, consumers who use Google are placing themselves in a sort of virtual gated community, or what was once known as ‘a company town.’
“You can go anywhere you like, as long as you use the company’s roads. And you can buy anything you like, as long as you shop at the company’s stores.”
Inside Google is part of Consumer Watchdog’s Google Privacy and Accountability Project, it says, adding:
“The project is intended to open Google’s largely secretive practices to public scrutiny.”
Click here for the full report.
… and identi.ca
Inside Google – Google using search engine to muscle into Internet businesses, study finds, June 2, 2010
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