Google Domination: How Big Is Too Big On the Internet?
FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.
Once upon a time, at the dawn of the commercial Internet age, people regularly gained accessed to the Web via AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy.
Of course, those days are long gone, and Google has emerged as the dominant search engine of choice. Indeed, it has been estimated that two-thirds of global Internet searches currently are conducted through Google.
Obviously, Google has done something right from a business standpoint to gain such market share. However, has this created a potential problem from an antitrust standpoint? Perhaps, according to some who have been monitoring Google's growth.
In fact, the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee has set a hearing for late September. The hearing is referenced as: "The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?
Furthermore, Google reportedly is the subject of an antitrust inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission supposedly addressing complaints that Google's search results unfairly advantage its own offerings.
While Google presently is the dominant search engine beast, it is worth noting that other Web-based technologies are drawing in vast numbers of users. Facebook alone, for example, now has over 750 million users.
So, how big is too big on the Internet, especially as technology continues to change and evolve? Good question, without a firm answer as of yet.
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.
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