Sept. 4 – Is Google a Monopoly?

Gay Lynn HillBell Ringers, Government(BR)

Sept. 4, Google is incorporated

Over the past 20+ years, the phrase “Google it” has become synonymous with “look it up.” The internet’s favorite search engine is used to search the web 13 billion times a month, and today Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has expanded into countless other ventures from AI and robots to smartphones and computers.

But, does Google have so big a share of the online search market that it could be considered a monopoly? In the most lax sense of the term, yes. In 2015, Google had 75 percent of the market for searches. But upon closer inspection, Google is not using coercive or anti-competitive practices to support this “monopoly” on internet searches, but rather simply offering a superior product to its competitors. As it is an internet service, there are low barriers of entry for anyone who wishes to create a competing search engine, and consumers have no real transaction costs if they choose to switch to a different search engine.

Additionally, Alphabet does not dominate the market in the other sectors it competes in, complicating the monopoly argument further .



Questions:
  1. Do you think Google is a monopoly in the truest sense of the term? Why or why not?
  2. If believe it is not, what would make it so?
  3. Should the government intervene to break up Google’s dominance of the internet search market? Does it qualify for antitrust laws?

Image Citation:

31 July, 2018, Google image. [Digital image]. Retrieved from <investopedia.com>.