Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Eventually they are going to fine Google for showing only Google ads on Google's search page.




As in: didn't happen, and Google was fined correctly:

"Evidence shows that even the most highly ranked rival service appears on average only on page four of Google’s search results, and others appear even further down. Google’s own comparison shopping service is not subject to Google’s generic search algorithms, including such demotions."


I can't wait to walk into a Walmart and see poster ads for Best Buy near its entrance. Why is Walmart abusing its dominance as a retailer ? (This line of reasoning actually makes sense to some people.)


For starters, Walmart and Google are very different things.

Walmart is a store, and sells things. Best Buy is also a store, and sells many of the same things Walmart sells. They are competitors in the market for selling electronics. Competition between them is good, and so they aren't required to advertise each others' stores.

Google is a search engine. Bing and Yahoo Search are also search engines. They crawl and search the same websites. Competition between them is good, and so they aren't required to advertise each other's search engines.

Google Mail is not a search engine. Google News is not a search engine. YouTube is not a search engine. Google Play is not a search engine. These are all different products from Google Search. Thus, Google giving preferential treatment to these products in its market-dominant search engine would be a textbook example of an antitrust violation: using a dominant market position in one market to interfere in the another market. (It depends on the jurisdiction's specific antitrust laws, but it may not matter where the competitors' products show up in the search results if Google is giving preferential treatment to its own competing products in searches for those products or the search terms that would list those products.)


I understood the argument (it wasn't that complicated to make.) By this reasoning, Google Ads is a different product from Google Search and as such gets preferential treatment by being the only one presented in Google's search results.

It's not hard to see these line of fines against Google for what they are: Money-grabbing attacks. With no knowledge on the matter, as an external observer, I wish this doesn't lead Google to de-prioritize its offerings in Europe.


By this reasoning, Google Ads is a different product from Google Search and as such gets preferential treatment by being the only one presented in Google's search results.

I'm not sure what reasoning you're using, but it appears you aren't grasping the complexity of the argument.

For starters, Google search placement is a fundamental part of the search product, and is a wholly different product from Google Ads (which don't show up alongside search results). Search results and display ads aren't just different products--they're different markets (for example, print ads and tv ads are also advertising but are wholly separate forms of advertising from each other and from display ads and from search placement). So paying for placement in search results isn't an antitrust issue.

On the other hand, if buying search placement was contingent on also buying Google Ads, that would be a textbook example of antitrust abuse because Google's dominance in the search engine market is being used to leverage and interfere with the display ads market.


Your posts in this thread have been accurate wrt competition law.

It's interesting to see how many people are shocked abuse of dominant market position remedies. I think enforcement has been so lax that many people casually assume anti-competitive behavior is the de-facto norm.


Not sure you understood why Google was fined. Search placement is irrelevant in this context. This pertains to search results restricted to a third-party site, embedded on that site.

If you want to make a general argument about Search placement that is conditioned on plainly wrong assumptions (Google _never_ prioritizes organic search results based on buying Google Ads) then, sure, go right ahead.


If you want to go down the slippery road of analogies, a better one would be:

Google is Walmart, offering all kinds of products. Carrying Kellog’s cereals (and many others).

Recently it started producing its own brand, Cerealify. Once it started producing its own brand, it’s the only brand you can now buy at Walmart. It’s also the only brand featured in marketing materials (catalogs, flyers, posters). Kelloggs, and other brands, can only be found in a warehouse 5 miles away.

How’s that for competition?


The Google Search page is not a market place and the original argument against Google is absurd. For instance, if I search for "The Art of Computer Programming" on Google, the first result through which I can actually buy the books is Amazon, arguably one of the largest competitors of Google.

I understand the desire of playing Devil's Advocate here, but it's difficult to stomach. Google has been such a force for positive change globally that it's hard to see the EU as the good guys in this case.


Does Google being "such a force for positive change globally" requires it to abuse its dominant position in the market to promote its unrelated products?


False premise: it doesn't.


@gamblor956 explained it way better than I could ever hope to here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19444072 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19445447


Positive change globally? Source?


No, a better analogy would be if they conditioned Kelloggs to only sell on Walmart, if they want to sell on Walmart at all.


Except the search engine business is not profit making without ADs.

Google is like yellow page, not Walmart.


Replace Walmart in my example with Yellow Pages. Same argument still stands.


I'm not sure if you're saying that the fine makes sense or you're being sarcastic and saying it doesn't.


I'm saying it doesn't. Google doesn't prioritize its own products on its organic search results.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: