Google’s unhealthy dominance will end

Given Google’s dominance of online advertising, and search, this article in The Times may interest readers. With Google’s online search share rising to 60 per cent in recent weeks and its revenue rising by 42 per cent to US$5.2 billion in the last quarter, it also has plans for mobile phones, “social networking tools and its own version of Wikipedia – not to mention the other web giants, such as Doubleclick, that it keeps buying – and you can understand why Google feared the renewed challenge that a well-resourced, large-scale competitor would pose to its ability, in effect, to control the information age.”The Times says it is in nobody’s interests that such a quasi-monopoly should emerge in the information marketplace where it could “wield its power to set global advertising rates, determine which information may be censored to placate an oppressive regime, or build detailed profiles of its users based on their e-mail history, their medical concerns and the real-world locations logged by their Googlephone.”So what should be done? The Times says that apart from Yahoo! and Google merging to possibly compete on a better scale with Google, both companies (and others) should “develop more products that people actually want to use.”The Times says of Yahoo! that it “is a business-school case history of an industry leader, once worth $134 billion, whose arrogance, mismanagement and lack of strategic vision brought it all the grief that it deserved. From its 2002 offer to buy Google for $3 billion, rejected at the time as insulting, to its latest overestimate to Microsoft of its own share value, the company is a mess, the least of whose problems now will be its share-price plunge.”To read this article in The Times in full, see www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article3876303.ece.

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