A 450-page report has been released by a House Antitrust Subcommittee that accuses Google of forming market dominance through anti-competitive behavior. The report provides suggestions on how to stop Google and reinstitute more competition.

Recommendation: Google Explains About The Predictions Made By Autocomplete Feature

Report States Google Has A Monopoly

The very first sentence in the report focuses on Google being a monopoly.

“Google has a monopoly in the markets for general online search and search advertising.”

Then further it states strategies that Google has formed to achieve the monopoly and to keep a hold on to it. Reports claim that Google keeps the monopoly via the browser and the default settings of the mobile device that provides Google more preference over the competitors, forcing out the mobile phone manufacturers to install the Google apps as the default and also using acquisitions in order to achieve the market dominance.

Accusation On Google For Anti-competitive Tactics

Google has been accused in the report of keeping its dominance by using anti-competitive tactics.

Tactics Google was accused of using were-

  • Making use of third party content unfairly so as to benefit its own “inferior vertical offerings”
  • Putting penalties on the competing verticals to favor Google’s verticals
  • Filling the search results with the advertisements so as to lower down the organic results
  • Keeping it hard for users to differentiate ads from organic results
  • Lowering down the organic search results through making use of its own content

As Per The Report

“Numerous market participants analogized Google to a gatekeeper that is extorting users for access to its critical distribution channel, even as its search page shows users less relevant results.”

Google Uses Android To Empowers Its Dominance

The documents claim that Google required mobile phone companies to give preference to Google so as to manufacture dominance in the market and win over competitors. The report states that Google’s mobile dominance was not fulfilled by the merit but via the forced requirements.

As Per The Report

“Google used contractual restrictions and exclusivity provisions to extend Google’s search monopoly from desktop to mobile.

Documents show that Google required smartphone manufacturers to pre-install and give default status to Google’s own apps, impeding competitors in search as well as in other app markets.

As search activity now migrates from mobile to voice, third-party interviews suggest Google is again looking for ways to maintain its monopoly over search access points through a similar set of practices.”

Accusation On Google For Using Acquisitions To Create A Monopoly

The report focuses on Google Maps stating that Google Maps dominance was earned by an “anticompetitive acquisition.”

“The firms investigated by the Subcommittee owe part of their dominance to mergers and acquisitions. Several of the platforms built entire lines of business through acquisitions, while others used acquisitions at key moments to neutralize competitive threats.”

Suggestions By House Subcommittee For Restoring Competition

“• Structural separations and prohibitions of certain dominant platforms from operating inadjacent lines of business;

• Nondiscrimination requirements, prohibiting dominant platforms from engaging in selfpreferencing, and requiring them to offer equal terms for equal products and services;

• Presumptive prohibition against future mergers and acquisitions by the dominant platforms;

• Safe harbor for news publishers in order to safeguard a free and diverse press; and

• Prohibitions on abuses of superior bargaining power, proscribing dominant platforms from engaging in contracting practices that derive from their dominant market position, and requiring due process protections for individuals and businesses dependent on the dominant platforms.”

More Suggestions By The House Subcommittee Report

  • Strengthening Antritrust Laws
  • Reviving Antitrust Enforcement
  • Reduce Conflicts of Interest Thorough Structural Separations and Line of Business Restrictions
  • Implement Rules to Prevent Discrimination, Favoritism, and Self-Preferencing
  • Reduce Market Power Through Merger Presumptions
    Subcommittee staff recommends that Congress consider shifting presumptions for future acquisitions by the dominant platforms. Under this change, any acquisition by a dominant platform would be presumed anticompetitive unless the merging parties could show that the transaction was necessary for serving the public interest and that similar benefits could not be achieved through internal growth and expansion.
  • Prohibit Abuse of Superior Bargaining Power and Require Due Process
    In the absence of an alternative platform, users effectively have no choice but to accede to the platform’s demands for payment whether in the form of dollars or data.”

Report Might Affect Google SERPs

The aim of the report was to suggest future changes to laws along with how mergers and acquisitions are considered. The focus of these changes is to restore competition. Few changes might affect how Google search will be displayed in the future.

“The Subcommittee recommends that Congress consider whether making a design change that excludes competitors or otherwise undermines competition should be a violation of Section 2, regardless of whether the design change can be justified as an improvement for consumers.”

Section 2 refers to rules to restrict “self-preferencing” and “favoritism” which Google had been accused of using in the search results where it favors its own verticals. If this report ends up in-laws and regulations then Google might have to changes the search results to favor itself less.

Leave a Reply



That answer every ifs and buts of digital marketing

Stay ahead with deeper understanding of the trends and up-to-date marketing tactics; all tried & tested in the ever-growing digital space.

Looking to
Achieve your Goals?

Let us help you
get there!

We're a digital agency focused on
creative and results-driven solutions.

Start With
Submit Form Below