Google is facing accusations from other software companies and internet search engines that it is creating a trust. Could this be a significant blow to the biggest search company in the world? Brad Andrew, associate professor of economics, talks about the case:
What is a trust? Is it the same as a monopoly?
It is a type of monopoly. A legal monopoly occurs when a company controls a market, but at prices regulated by the government. A trust is when a company significantly lessens competition through various illegal methods.
Is there a recent example of this?
Microsoft had antitrust allegations brought against it. They were accused of blocking entry into the software market by not letting other software companies on new PCs.
Do you think Google meets this criteria?
No, Google is just very good. It does what you want it to do, and people just want to use it over other engines. In fact it has been increasing competition — look at Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. They just recently added a feature for airline selection, it calculates whether the price will probably drop soon of go up. Google has been forcing other search companies to innovate things like this to try to win consumers over.
What does this mean for Google and other Internet companies?
Honestly, not much. The Justice Department has a lot better uses for their time, and this probably won’t be taken that seriously. Even if Google were convicted of breaking antitrust laws, it would just be a slap on the wrist. They might pay a fine, but not admit any wrongdoing.
-Joe Aultman-Moore ’12, Juniata Online Journalist