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IMHO a simpler and probably the only viable way to force competition is to legally force Google to not respond to any query on certain periodic time periods.

For instance, if you were to forbid Google from operating on every odd-numbered day, then 50% of the search engine market and revenues would immediately be distributed among competitors and furthermore users would be forced to test multiple engines and they could find a better one to use even when Google is allowed to operate.

Obviously this has a short-term economic cost if other search engines aren't good enough as well as imposing an arbitrary restriction on business, so it's debatable whether this would be a reasonable course of action




Banning anything is often not a good policy since it usually creates secondary markets.

Depends on how you count the date, this could create markets where people in different countries will sell Google search results to each other. New VPN providers pop up with the promise of 24h Google coverage. Software startups switch to a system where you bing work 16 hours straight, then get the next 32 hours break and repeat. "Breaking news" has a new Oxford definition, since newspapers change plan to publish news 5 minutes before Google opens for search. Electricity price increases for the first 2 hours of the odd-numbered day to combat the spike in demand. Comcast introduces a new fast lane at only $199 a month that has no slow down access to Google. University groups lobby for a new exemption in the law allowing unrestricted weekdays access. Political parties lobby for also blocking Google on the day of debates, regardless of whether it's an odd-numbered day. It's kinda fun to keep going.


Any search engine that was unavailable for 50% of the time would soon have 0% of the market, not 50%.


This can be solved, in the odd-days example, by making either the second most popular or all other search engines operate only on the even days (as well as making the restriction apply to the most popular engine instead of Google in particular).

This has other drawbacks of course.




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