Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

Summary: At issue is going to be whether Google's search results and Google+ are the modern day equivalent of bundling.

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Google's move to highlight Google+ in its search results is getting tech commentators and potentially U.S. regulators twisted in knots.

At issue is going to be whether search results are the modern day equivalent of bundling. Microsoft got into a heap of trouble by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. The same argument is being made for Google bundling Google+ in results. One company's personal search is another's anti-competitive Facebook killer. You could argue that the Google-Google+ alignment merely highlights the social silo scenario.

The LA Times noted that the Electronic Privacy Information Center may file a letter with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into the Google-Google+ connection.

The ruckus breaks down like this:

  • Some argue the results amount to bundling.
  • Google argues that Facebook and Twitter could be in the results if they played ball with the search giant.
  • Regulators aren't talking---yet.

Cutting through all the histrionics on this one may be tricky. If I'm betting on this flap, I'd go with the line that says regulators are going to be poking around. Should Google have to open up its personal search to other services such as Facebook and Twitter on better terms?

Topics: Apps, Google, Government, Government US, Social Enterprise

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5 comments
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  • RE: Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

    Bing is bundling with Facebook. Now, why can't Google? I like this idea, actually.
    tatiGmail
    • RE: Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

      @tatiGmail Dead-On!

      If MS bundles FB, Apple bundles Safari, Yahoo bundles Yahoo Answers... blah, blah, blah.

      They made an option to turn it off and it only works when logged in. As long as you can disable/uninstall it, none of these anti-competitive rulings should exist or even waste all of our money in pursuing.

      Microsoft should always have the right to put IE in Windows, as long as they give an option to uninstall if wanted. The same goes for all of these other providers... if the little companies can't hack it, they piss and moan instead.
      beidsvold
      • RE: Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

        @beidsvold If they're a monopoly, the rules need to be different. If you're a monopoly, you can use bundling to leverage the monopoly into creating success your product wouldn't otherwise have in the marketplace, and that's anticompetitive.
        jgm2
      • RE: Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

        @beidsvold
        Just like microsoft never made anyone use IE, Windows Media Player, Office, or any of their other products.

        See how that worked out for them?
        x I'm tc
  • RE: Search bundling flap for Google's Google+ plugs heats up

    bundling by any other name is still bundling. Bring out the DOJ!!
    oraman