So I had a conversation on Google Plus with someone in response to a public post in which they said:
When will federal government finally break @Google down into smaller companies?
The implication here is that Google is a monopoly; why else would you want to break it up into smaller companies? This is where the conversation degenerated.
A monopoly is a very specific thing, you can’t just make up your own definition and insist that the company be broken up by the government because you don’t like something about the company. I noted this and was told it was a “data monopoly” and that:
Google’s “Free” products are stifling the competition, and smothering the opportunity for other innovators to penetrate the market. The fact that you are good, doesn’t mean that you are allowed to block the newcomers from playing the field.1
This is all complete nonsense. Who has the dominant social network? Facebook. Are there other email services available other than gmail? Sure there are. Are there other ad networks? Yes. So where is the stifling of competition? This is not the definition of a monopolist.
Google is dominant in web search and makes most of their money off of ads. The last time I looked there are other search engines as well.
He then said how similar the situation was to Microsoft:
I will also compare it to Microsoft, because this is very similar situation, and breaking down the Microsoft from pre-bundeling their garbage software onto the operating system did wonders for the market of upcoming browsers.
There is only one problem with this statement: Microsoft wasn’t broken up at all. I’m not sure what version of history this guy is referring to but it’s not the version that actually happened. He claims that the break up that didn’t happen did wonders for the market of upcoming browsers. Really? What browser is making money? Sure there are other browsers, and there were other browsers back then. The bigger issue was that people didn’t want to pay for browsers either then, after the judgement, or now.
Of course he then told me I didn’t have my facts straight and didn’t respond after that. Sorry but it just doesn’t work that way. You can’t just make up your own facts. I guess that it’s far easier to do that instead of actually learning something, just like it’s easier to shout nonsense on a social network vs. having a real discussion.
- What was even more amusing is that this all happened on Google Plus which is free. ↩