Is Google too big for its own bots?

Is Google too big for its own bots?

Summary: Is Google’s market dominance restricting consumer choice and closing out competitors? David Wood from ICOMP thinks so.

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TOPICS: Google
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Google is serving up search results that give preference to its own commercial operations. That's the allegation from Brussels, Belgium-based lawyer David Wood, the legal counsel for the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP).

In this week's Twisted Wire, he talks about how the search engine is now extending its influence to the mobile and mapping space. He suggests that the integrated ecosystem the company has developed is resulting in fewer clicks for competitors, creating an environment wherein innovative challengers to Google's emerging areas of influence are left out in the cold.

Has he got a point, or do we have a choice? If we are concerned, can't we simply move to another search provider? We could, but the point is, we don't. So Google's influence and control continues unabated.

It's a fascinating discussion about the emergence of an entrenched monopoly. And, of course, the more Google gathers data, the more sophisticated its offering is, and the harder it is for anyone to break the cycle. Unless the regulators step in.

What do you think? Is there a need for regulators to step in and control Google's dominance, to ensure that opportunities exist for competition in the space in which they operate?

Call the Twisted Wire feedback line on 02 9304 5198 and leave a message, or leave a comment below.

Running time: 28 minutes, 15 seconds

Topic: Google

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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7 comments
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  • that's BS!

    the lame competition is just a click away.
    The government should stay out of this business!
    LlNUX Geek
  • Poor ICOMP

    Get better at your job then complain. One on ICOMP major backer is Microsoft. Bing was designed to compete with Google search and in doing so copied many of it's features and functions. The problem for Microsoft was that Google didn't just sit around they continued to innovate, by adding new features and functions to their existing offerings.
    Wasn't Bing slogan 'the decision engine' ???? Google has moved closer to being that dream.

    The big question do I want search result that are to other search engine to find what I am looking for. NO. Do I get in my car to drive to my motorcycle to drive to the sidewalk so I can walk everywhere I go. NO. Google should not be forced to become a search engine search tool because they are too good at being a regular search engine. ICOMP get better at your jobs.
    alex_darkness
  • Nope

    DuckDuckGo is good, and since switching to it, I've had to use Google for something may be 5-6 times in the past few years.

    I use all search engines to see which one works for what. There IS choice, so I don't think there's any need for regulators to step in.

    What SHOULD be done though, is raising awareness about options, choices, how search engines work, and why people shouldn't put all their eggs in one basket. Perhaps that would help people get more tech savvy and not fall for preferential results that a search engine may show for whatever reason.
    kushalsharma83
  • Brussels. Uh oh.

    We know what that means -- Eurocrats! Don't feed them after midnight or get them wet. Bright light, however, will do them a lot of good. Maybe they should be a little less concerned about ephemera like the EuroMarxoSocialist definition of "competition" and a little more concerned about that drain they're circling.
    Vesicant
  • No regulation

    No regulation, it's a free market. Smells like the Internet Explorer regulations made in the past (who did the lobbying work in those cases?). But people should be aware of the "nowhere and everywhere Google". My Google post from about a month ago: The confusing Google, the Halloween-ish Google http://inmaxmind.blogspot.se/2012/10/the-confusing-google-halloween-ish.html
    maxbuchler
  • We always have a choice.

    "Has he got a point, or do we have a choice?"

    We always have a choice. Whether or not we take it is another matter.
    CobraA1
  • There is a need for avoiding monopolistic abuses in a verifiable way

    More words subject to different interpretation won't prevent a operating system, browser, search-app' map-app, ecommerce-app, social-app from entangling users in lifetime servitude. Ask the serfs with .xls attached to their work by Microsoft. Nevertheless, regulators of good will can study the future evolution of technology and find generic escape hatches from future monopolistic practices by whoever.g
    jnffarrell