Google’s problem is how it does business

The business model Google relies on has made it one of the world’s richest companies. But that model forces it to gather as much information as possible about every user.

By

Opinion

October 27, 2020 - 9:27 AM

A sign is posted on the exterior of Google headquarters on January 30, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Photo by (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/TNS)

Google’s obvious dominance over much of the internet has long been cause for both consumer and social concern, and it was probably inevitable the government would step in at some point, in some way, to realign the inner workings of the web.

The question is whether an antitrust suit is the right approach. There are reasons to think it isn’t, and we expect the government will have a hard, though not impossible, task of proving that Google doesn’t face at least the potential for serious competition in search and any number of other businesses, like browsers, where it also dominates.

The pudding will be in the proof in this case. What will the Department of Justice be able to tell us about the way Google structured deals across a broad array of contracts to attempt to keep Google in front and competitors at bay?

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