Google's Schmidt Admits Google is in Monopoly Area

It seems like every other month, Google is announcing a new product in a market that it hasn't previously attempted to enter and the company's definitely not in the habit of doing things by half-measures. The words 'Google' and 'monopoly' have appeared alongside each other a number of times, whether it's over book deals or the company's massive slice of the search market, and and it seems Google bigwig Eric Schmidt is under no illusions as to how powerful his company is.

According to Business Insider, the executive chairman of Google came close to admitting that Google was a monopoly while testifying before U.S. senate antitrust committee earlier this week.

"But you do recognize that in the words that are used and antitrust kind of oversight, your market share constitutes monopoly, dominant -- special power dominant for a monopoly firm. You recognize you're in that area?" Schmidt was asked by Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl.

Schmidt replied that yes, he agreed Google was "in that area." However, earlier comments from Schmidt suggest that Google has learned a lot from rival Microsoft's mistakes.

Speaking to the committee, Schmidt's opening speech made reference to a company whose name was 'synonymous with innovation' and whose software was on nearly every computer. Schmidt said that 20 years ago, this company setting the world on fire "but [it] lost sight of what mattered" and then Washington stepped in.

"I was an executive at Sun and later Novell at the time," he said. "And in the years since, many of us in Silicon Valley have absorbed the lessons of that era. So I’m here today carrying a long history in the technology business and a very short message about our company: We get it. By that I mean that we get the lessons of our corporate predecessors."

Google has faced several antitrust accusations over the years in a range of different markets. In 2010, the European Union launched an official probe following accusations that Google was affording its own services preferential treatment in search results. In 2009, the Department of Justice launched a probe into Google's settlement with the Author's Guild of America. That same year, the European Union opened up its own investigation into the Author's Guild deal. Ahile Schmidt's comments won't do anything to dissuade those that already think Google is too powerful, BI Matt Rosoff points out being a monopoly isn't illegal -- you're just subjected to certain antitrust laws that others are not.

For more on Schmidt's U.S. Senate appearance, hit up Business Insider.
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37 comments
    Top Comments
  • As far as I'm concerned.. As long as they keep innovating at the pace they are doing. Paying their workers incredibly well. Then allowing them many benefits + keeping other large companies from taking markets over. I'm for them staying the way they are.. I think google keeps other large companies on their toes.
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  • amk-aka-Phantom
    I don't like some of the Google's products (Chrome, Picase), and they ARE a monopoly... not because they're preventing anyone from rising by dishonest methods, but because they're damn good at what they do. They earn tons of money from advertisement and most of their other software are just side projects - they can afford it. And they deserved it. This is an example of a healthy monopoly.

    Monopoly? So what, if no one can do better in this area so far? Does that mean Google is to be sued or something?

    Their power is scary, of course. And they have to be watched closely... but so far, Google helped everyone a lot.
    24
  • I love Google! One company that is big and least evil. They are very innovative and and quite frankly their products work. Chrome does better that Firefox in many aspects( Love firefox dont get me wrong) ...IE.?...I wount even go there. I think Facebook is the one that should be investigated. The worst thing that happened to social networking since the invention of INTERNET....
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  • Other Comments
  • As far as I'm concerned.. As long as they keep innovating at the pace they are doing. Paying their workers incredibly well. Then allowing them many benefits + keeping other large companies from taking markets over. I'm for them staying the way they are.. I think google keeps other large companies on their toes.
    26
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    I don't like some of the Google's products (Chrome, Picase), and they ARE a monopoly... not because they're preventing anyone from rising by dishonest methods, but because they're damn good at what they do. They earn tons of money from advertisement and most of their other software are just side projects - they can afford it. And they deserved it. This is an example of a healthy monopoly.

    Monopoly? So what, if no one can do better in this area so far? Does that mean Google is to be sued or something?

    Their power is scary, of course. And they have to be watched closely... but so far, Google helped everyone a lot.
    24
  • google has done so much for the online community and the world that it stands to be good measure if they recognize the monopolistic image and attempt to regulate without being unfairly chastised for it.

    how many of us benefit from the online search as students, map searches, part numbers, business advertisement and connection, medical help, all with a simple vanilla interface unlike yahoo,bing, and others?

    google on!
    12