Google's moat in search

Google has been a focal point in the ongoing Big Tech anti-trust conversation, having achieved what many describe a monopoly in general search. Their defence? The “competition is one click away”.

Google Search may be dominant due to a combination of the following hypotheses:

My take:

For regulators to respond to Google’s monopoly on general search, they must understand why Google has an unfair competitive advantage (if they do at all). Otherwise, further regulation could lead to unexpected consequences. For example, by focusing on privacy-related regulation, governments may actually improve Google’s competitive advantage. Restricting platforms from setting default search engines based on payment or quid-pro-quo arrangements could, however, go a long way towards improving competition. Apple, for example, given their stance on privacy, would be unlikely to promote Google as the primary choice for search if they were not being paid to do so. Given the dominance of iOS, this change alone could be enough to introduce more healthy competition into the search ecosystem.


27 March, 2021

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