Antitrust accusations: Google is the new Microsoft

Google is facing antitrust accusations on multiple continents, proving it has grown into that which it set out to destroy

Google is being challenged on multiple continents with accusations of monopolistic intentions and unfair business practices. The one-time scrappy start-up has become a monolith in its own right, and now finds itself under the same antitrust scrutiny it once supported against its arch-rival Microsoft.

The European Union has agreed to investigate claims by Google competitors that its overwhelmingly dominant stake in both online search, and online search advertising gives it an unfair advantage over rivals in either industry.

In a post titled "Committed to Competing Fairly", Google states on its blog "As Google has grown, we've not surprisingly faced more questions about our role in the advertising ecosystem and our overall approach to competition. This kind of scrutiny goes with the territory when you are a large company. However, we've always worked hard to ensure that our success is earned the right way--through technological innovation and great products, rather than by locking in our users or advertisers, or creating artificial barriers to entry. "

Google has built its empire around the motto "Don't Be Evil"--ostensibly a jab at Microsoft and other tech giants. Essentially, Google's goal with the "Don't Be Evil" mantra was to try to prevent it from becoming just another short-sighted behemoth, putting short-term profit ahead of company reputation and brand image.

The corporate culture fostered by that motto instills a sense of honesty and fair play, as well as a deep-seated concern for the impact on Google itself, of any business decisions Google makes. Customers, partners, and Google employees have all established a level of trust with Google based on the "Do No Evil" motto.

However, Google may have reached some sort of critical mass making it too big to live up to that mantra no matter how well intended. Recent backlash over the Nexus One, and Google Buzz, combined with the antitrust accusations, make Google seem more like a mirror-image of Microsoft than a rival.

It's possible that Google is simply a victim of its own success--like an indy rock band that achieves popular success and is then perceived by fans as a commercial sellout. What is the alternative? Actively avoiding success to ensure it doesn't get too many customers or make too much money?

Google's response to the antitrust accusations is "While we will be providing feedback and additional information on these complaints, we are confident that our business operates in the interests of users and partners, as well as in line with European competition law."

The reality is that all of the above can be true to some degree. Google can operate within the bounds of European competition law, and also strive to not be evil, while its monumental success and dominant stake in the markets it operates in can sway the industry in such a way that competition is stifled, or virtually impossible.

Regardless of how Google got from scrappy startup to antitrust behemoth, people around Redmond are probably stepping a little lighter and breathing a little easier these days. It turns out that Google, the self-proclaimed nemesis of Microsoft and purveyor of all things "not evil", has actually done more to transform itself into Microsoft than it has to knock Microsoft off its pedestal.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftGoogleanti-trust

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?