Antitrust+

MG Siegler on Google’s announcement today that they’re going to begin integrating Google Plus with regular web search results:

But when they use that natural monopoly to start pushing into other verticals, things get gray. Travel, restaurant reviews, etc, etc. We see more of it each year.

But this, at first glance, seems decidedly worse. Google is using Search to propel their social network. They might say it’s “not a social network, it’s a part of Google”, but no one is going to buy that. They were late to the game in social and this is the best catchup strategy ever.

Count me in with MG here. This seems like textbook monopoly abuse: using a legal monopoly in one market (web search) to gain a competitive advantage in a different market (social networking) through bundling. The idea from the outset was to frame “Google+” as an extension of Google, not something new. Hence the name.

It also occurs to me that there’s no company in tech with as many enemies as Google. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter — Google has taken the fight to all of them. In this sense they’re like Microsoft 15 years ago.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

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