3 Reasons Why Google Beat The FTC Search Antitrust Case:
The Federal Trade Commission found searchengine giant Google did not violate antitrust or anticompetition laws related to how it provides search engine results. Most search experts would agree that Google has a basic monopoly on search and that the results Google shows are not impartial and are related to other Google assets thereby creating the false impression that a query has been found using the ‘best’ technology.
There are several reasons why Google beat the case and continues to dominate the search engine sector but here are our top 3:
1. Users won’t use another search engine right now. Google won the search engine war with a better technology. After building a strong user base and reaching critical mass, consumers are reticent to choose another search engine. Nobody forces you to search on Google and it’s the only search engine that got the word ‘google’ put in the English lexicon – like ‘rollerblades’, also known as in-line skates created by Scott and Brennan Olson in their basement.
2. Google’s competition serves similar results when people use their websites but the companies don’t have the online and social media ecosystem to obtain network effects from search. Bing and Yahoo have no other assets that complement their search engine ranking businesses.
3. Regulators aren’t as tech savvy as Google. Google also has the most Ph.Ds on staff than any other major company and is able to finesse any argument. Regulators don’t understand how search by Google is more intertwined with its other assets and the regulators themselves probably don’t use them.
There are many more reasons why Google continues to be the biggest search engine and is able to stay away from negative attention from regulators. Microsoft was able to withstand the pressure for years before caving in and needed to separate assets. This may not end up being the case for Google if no real competitive pressure or no end product exists that has a pricing monopoly issue. We think Google would be a better search engine if it didn’t use results from Google+ or make businesses list using their social media asset. This could also help Google solve the decreasing CPCs issue that is a negative consequence of less robust search results (see more on Google CPCs here). Regardless, the FTC couldn’t prove the case that Google is doing anything wrong and it will continue to be the biggest player in the space for a while.