By Matthew Shanbom, Editor-in-Chief
On Oct. 20, the justice department announced an antitrust lawsuit against Google for its search property. This lawsuit is very warranted in my opinion because of the dominance google search plays. Google has even become a synonym for searching something online even when other search engines can do better than Google.
Tech antitrust hearings have been ongoing in the House and Senate throughout the summer as lawmakers have seeked to determine whether Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Apple hold any monopolies. Even though Facebook controls Facebook and Instagram, I don’t believe they hold a monopoly due to the prominence of Twitter and Tik Tok as competitors. Amazon however is approaching monopoly status due to its vertical and horizontal integrations of its shipping process. For some goods on Amazon, they control the production, marketplace and shipping. While other competitors such as Walmart have tried to mount a competition against Amazon, none have been successful leading me to believe Amazon too is approaching monopoly status. There is also one part of Amazon’s business that not many people know about that is approaching monopoly status, Amazon Web Services. It’s only real competitor is Microsoft Azure, but AWS is consistently taking a lead in market share. Since Microsoft and Apple are both in similar markets of producing computers and operating systems, neither are a monopoly at this point. Even the iPhone is not a monopoly Apple holds.
While search was the first priority to sue for, Google still holds a couple other monopolies in my opinion. The first is for Video on Demand viewing on Youtube. There is no real competitor to the experience and ease that Google offers as a part of Youtube. Even though Vimeo and Twitch seek to compete in that market, neither come close for VOD viewing. The second monopoly is how google makes most of its money, advertising. Due to the dominance Google has in search, it collects personalized data on each user to tailor advertising and allow them to charge more to advertisers. The biggest competitor is most likely Facebook advertising but is much less prominent than Google.
While the search lawsuit was a great start, there needs to be a push to break up big tech with more lawsuits to come. Google and other tech companies need to be recognized for what they are, monopolies.