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>For example, Google could offer a search engine free of any ads, as they did in the early days.FN1 They have more than enough cash to do it.

Doesn't google still make like 80% of its revenue off advertising in search? If its true, then they really don't have the money to drop it

And instead of viewing it as double-betting, it can just as easily be seen as a compromise. They still want to advertise, and makes sense for them to want to, and the truly troublesome ads are poisoning the water for everyone, by leading (normal) people to total solutions ie adblock. Which is bad for business. In which case, you should expect them to find a middle-ground solution, and it would be absurd for google to move in either direction too strongly (because the money's not there).

Its not that they're taking sides, but that they're trying not to.

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