Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Break Up Google (tbray.org)
180 points by robin_reala 15 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 189 comments



This is another article where the author goes on a flight of fantasy about how these services work. He conflates public good with public provision. He first states he doesn't know where the revenue comes from and then makes a lot of detailed decisions based on revenues (android apparently needs only a few buildings and engineers).

I think this is a perfect example of the sort of wooly and confused thinking behind break up X articles. To some extent that's inevitable as no one knows what parts of big businesses make money (the author thinks this is intentional opaqueness but its actually very difficult in a big business to determine who "makes" a profit). But if he really wants to convince people to enact massive change like this, he needs to do better.

People need to be clear what they are doing by first being clear what they want to achieve and what the side effects will be. If you want privacy, ask for privacy, and admit that that has costs. Trying to get privacy by smashing Google by dividing it up in ways you know don't work isn't privacy, it's just wrecking a service lots of people need.

Similarly, the author isn't upfront about the costs. Are you willing to switch to a Gmail equivalent that costs 50usd a year? Is the average third world user willing to pay the same to have an email address? Do you want to go back to US government issue maps full of errors with no guide to what's in any of the buildings?

I'm not willing to do that. I'm actually very pro privacy and anti-advertising but we need a practical working solution. These pieces are the equivalent of luddites saying we should close the Mills and go back to making everything by hand.


> He first states he doesn't know where the revenue comes from and then makes a lot of details decisions based on revenues (android apparently needs only a few buildings and engineers).

He proposes 5 spin off companies.

Advertising is fine.

It’s not clear that YouTube is profitable. And it does have a big synergy in the immense infrastructure.

Android he admits isn’t a business beyond trying to bill every user for using it.

I doubt Maps has much value except in combination with the ad business unless they stopped doing consumer stuff and mostly focused on GPS and corporate guidance systems. It would be fundamentally different.

With Cloud, he assumes that it is the vendor of every other service. Why would they bother with consumer stuff if they now have to pivot to infrastructure for the successor companies? It would turn into the equivalent of a REIT and would just pay a dividend. That is where investors take companies that have reliable cash cow businesses with limited growth potential.


To me it felt really dishonest because at least some of these services would die and others would become the sort of shitty cash hungry monopoly we see elsewhere in the economy if it weren't for Googles (far from perfect) stewardship.

I even empathise with the monopoly/privacy/advertising concerns. I just think he's either writing a protest article he knows can never be implimented (or taken seriously) OR he's trying to achieve his goal by tricking people into something most don't actually want.


Shitty cash hungry monopoly like OpenStreetMap? I’m ready to bet Google Maps dying could lead to a huge interest in improving OSM instead of the opposite today.

Also email is an interoperable standard so I don’t see a monopoly coming soon, it’s not AOL era anymore.

Before monopolies there is competition, and if monopolies come then break them. It’s not like it never happened before and “these times it’s different”.

Edit: I have nothing against Google but it’s not a charity, if some of their services are now essential and are not adequately provided by private entities then it simple it’s a public service. What would you say if Google was starting a service to give free food? I’m not it’s the big Corp displacing government dystopia future I want.


Do you really think Openstreetmap is an alternative to Google maps? Really? This is our vision for the future? Anyone who spends 5 minutes on there will be begging to give Google their data.

We're meant to be improving things, not just reverting to the 1940s approach but with a website to look at the paperwork on...


I use OSM all the time in the form of the app, OsmAnd. Fantastic app, gets me where I'm going, has most shops indexed: the few times it didn't I added them myself and benefited everyone.

I especially like that, as a cyclist, it always picks the greener path for me to get through Copenhagen. Huge feature over Google Maps for me.

I'd really like to see better transit directions. OsmAnd does have them but not stop-by-stop.


My point is that Google Maps prevents the development of OSM.


>Also email is an interoperable standard

If emails from no-name servers/domains are increasingly dropped/refused (considered spam), is email still interoperable?


That's not my experience, but if that's the case then one more reason for the break up.


Maps would have to be ad-based to be viable. The question is if it would be viable without feeding to/from the rest of Google's ad business, or if it would have to resort to Yelp-style thinly disguised extortion to survive. "Nice restaurant you got there, it'd be a real shame if it fell to page 17 in the listings and all the one-star reviews were listed first. Did you know you can delete negative reviews and get guaranteed first page if you buy the Premium package?"


> Is the average third world user willing to pay the same to have an email address?

As a potential third world user, I would happily pay $50/year for services such as email. I may not be representative of the "average", but really the notion that you need to have the "average" third world user to be able to use the platform is a distraction in these arguments.

WordPress business plan charges only about $7/mo in my country vs $25/mo in other countries. I know this can lead to some fraud etc. but it is a good way to cater to the "average third world user" if you are not trying to turn said user into the product.

There is a company called Zoho which is headquartered in India, which makes world class software, charges very reasonable prices, and is able to pay its employees quite well. And as best as I know, they are not dramatically unique in any way, but just produce solid software combined with a solid roadmap.

Also, it is not as if "first world" tech company policies are just neutral and harmless to third world users. The perfect example of this has to be the way news about Hydroxychloroquine has been distorted beyond all recognition. There are three things which are perfectly obvious to anyone who lives outside the US and is following the news on this:

1 HCQ doesn't actively harm anyone, any more than a random drug would. There is now plenty of evidence to support this. I am not claiming that HCQ is some kind of wonder drug either, but surely many more proper clinical trials would have happened on this topic if Donald Trump wasn't the president today.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-hydroxych...

2 First world news media has set the entire research on COVID-19 back by at least a few months (with all the associated death count) because they seem more intent on opposing Trump than in solving the actual problem. And as best as I can see, big tech platforms and big tech employees amplify all the anti-Trump news with almost no regard to the actual science on this topic.

3 While this setback is going to affect all countries, it impoverishes third world countries and does a lot more permanent harm to them vis-a-vis the developed world.

Are you a business trying to maximize your profit? Then just charge what you think your service is worth. Use WordPress and Zoho as your inspiration. The "average third world" user doesn't care either way, and frankly people in the first world are probably not smart enough to know all the unintended consequences of trying to do what is right by the third world users. Just do your job, produce a great product, charge a fair amount, and please don't use the third world user as a reason to adopt all kinds of user hostile policies.


These type of posts are now starting to sound like propaganda. Just emotional catharsis of some sort.

There are plenty of large companies on this planet.

Why do you focus on Google?

and why do we see these posts frequently making it to top ten of hacker news?


Yeah, but there are, for example, at least five car companies at the top end that have kind of equally attractive products and 20 others. But in tech it‘s different.

Additionally, I don‘t think anyone working in the tech industry should want a future where a few large companies control everything. In the long run, this is not in our interest.


> Why do you focus on Google?

Because there's no thing one hate as much as the one that one loved and that then betrayed you I guess.

(Note: I neither loved Google nor hate it now but I'll go as far as admit to being a big fan earlier on and really disappointed now.)

> and why do we see these posts frequently making it to top ten of hacker news?

Because so many of us agree with them. (FTR, I'm an oldtimer with a fresh account.)


Google is second on Bray's list, since he started with his alma mater, Amazon.

I'm guessing either Facebook or Apple is next, but we'll see.

I'm guessing posts like these are popular because many of us agree that it's well past time for an antitrust department to take action against companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, and others.


I agree, a lot of very large companies should be broken up.

At the same time, why can't someone's blog focus on one? Why can't a given company be held under the spotlight for something? Being asked to criticise all of them, or none of them seems like an unfair criticism. This post being about google doesn't preclude another one being written about all companies, or Facebook, or amazon, etc etc. Getting the ball rolling on even one of these companies would be a good start, so I don't see the harm in people writing posts focusing on one.

> and why do we see these posts frequently making it to top ten of hacker news?

Presumably because a lot of people agree with the proposition?


The post literally mentions other big tech companies that are similar candidates for enforcement.


One of Tim's previous posts was about breaking up AWS.


You should be grateful, the threat of antitrust action is literally the only thing that is slowing down Google turning Android and Chrome into their own private internet. It's not enough, so far, so the authorities really needs to step up their game.

And the idea that you can't name and shame a trillion dollar corporation because there are other big companies around is pernicious. The idea is mistaken, no one should escape scrutiny because there are other bad actors. And if Google isn't big enough to be singled out, who is?


Here's the rub: I strongly suspect that YouTube is not profitable, or is just barely profitable, such that it would be difficult to run as a separate company from the rest of Google. This is even more true for Maps. Breaking apart Google would substantially risk those businesses.

On the other hand, maybe that's a good thing.


> Here's the rub: I strongly suspect that YouTube is not profitable, or is just barely profitable, such that it would be difficult to run as a separate company from the rest of Google... > Breaking apart Google would substantially risk those businesses.

Isn't that kind of the point of "break up google" though?

That "they" (big tech) destroy any other businesses in a similar space (video in this case) that isn't similarly an ads or social-media giant? Or that tech "eats the world" in ways that aren't always strictly good?


Wouldn't this be more in favour of breaking up Google? If YouTube is unprofitable, then Google is essentially dumping this service. It is harming competitors who do not have deep pockets of Google to bankroll their service. Breaking up YouTube means there would be a more level playground.


Or a YouTube style site just wouldn't exist...


There are other sites out there offering similar services, albeit at a different scale. You could argue that some of them (like Twitch) are being dumped on the market in a similar manner, though.

Twitch's feature set is not that different from YT's at this point. They both have very elaborate streaming services, a financial support mechanism, viewable archives with seeking, automated muting for copyrighted content, and recommendations systems.


Fwiw Twitch is now owned by Amazon, not sure if it was/is profitable though - but it may be that the cost of such massive video platforms is too high to run without a parent company that can subsidise the costs.

In the case of Google/Amazon this makes additional sense because they own the cloud infrastructure, which I assume is the biggest cost of the platforms.


I agree - There is no way that Youtube could compete without access to google resources. If they had to pay for their own bandwidth, hosting, transcoding, etc while surviving off adsense revenue (paying same google "commission" as everyone else), they would quickly drive themselves into bancruptcy simply due to their popularity!

They are stifling competition because they have unlimited funds to throw at anything they want. They should definitely be split up.


Would users get a better service from the successors of YouTube? Would we have to watch more ads?


There's a freemium video service in japan called Nico Video [0] that has been around for about the same length of time as Youtube. On the free tier, you're essentially limited to a really shitty video quality, somewhere around 480p. It also has ads and some kind of rate limiting. Besides subscriptions, they also do tie-ups and other PR related stuff. Video quality has never really been that good even on the premium tier. Their whole selling point seems to be community interaction, where by viewers can post comments directly into the video stream [1]. As far as I can tell, they've been bleeding money for the last decade though they seemed to have turned a profit this year.

My conclusion is that no, users would not get a better service.

[0]: https://www.nicovideo.jp

[1]: http://blog.nicovideo.jp/en_info/2013/01/post-037484.html

[2]: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ニコニコ動画#ビジネス


Impossible to know for sure, since any better service is going to get suffocated by Google's market power unless it's backed by another huge player like Amazon.


YouTube existed without Google. Google bought them.


And it wasn't profitable then, either.

How could that be? Server costs? Seems like YouTube would be raking in the cash.


The sheer magnitude of video data they have to deal with is enormous. They, along with netflix, comprise the majority of all internet usage. Yes, the videos you see on your front page with 10s of millions of views are raking in the cash and have negligible hosting cost. Those videos are subsidizing the 10s of millions of videos that get 4-5 views apiece.


> Yes, the videos you see on your front page with 10s of millions of views are raking in the cash and have negligible hosting cost.

But they must have huge hosting costs…


I've heard the line they're right on the edge of profitability but I've never gotten any real confirmation. I was younger when I heard that and I always though youtube was just a cash cow. But think of how much servers (huge streaming metrics for each person watch + encoding servers), bandwidth and CDN must cost them. Ever with their own cloud, that has got to be huge. I worked at Amazon Instant Video and our CDN bills made my eyeballs pop out like I was a loony toon character. Traditionally they've only made money video advertising but I'm just not sure thats a great business model for video anymore. And, also throw in live streaming that people have been using, especially during covid, which is also free, and you have even more load they pay for free.

An idea I always had was embedding a big zip or something into the mp4 format and uploading it for storage. Would they save the original files for download or would they be encoded to a lower bit rate and make them unusual. Maybe data encoded in an audio track would be better? Sounds like more than a weekend of experimenting but would be a cool little project.


Server and storage costs must be astronomical - last time I checked something in the order of 48-hours worth of content is uploaded every minute. Coupled with the fact that they've had a couple of issues with advertisers leaving or withholding spending, I doubt what they pull in is enough to cover expenses.


Like others have said, their storage needs are staggering. I would not be surprised to find that YT's storage is bigger than the entirety of Google's web archive, which is mostly text. Possibly much bigger.

If YT were not part of Google, they would still need Google-scale infra in order to handle the insane number of pixels they're streaming every second of every day.


Well just think about how much it would cost you to host, encode in many many formats, billions of hours of video, consuming exabytes of storage, providing a fully reliable service for 15 years.

Might also be worth considering why there are effectively zero competitors.


Their transcode, storage, and compute costs are what lead me to also believe YouTube is not profitable, or just barely profitable.


If those costs were high they'd have long ago banned the spam accounts that upload autogenerated garbage.


"[In Q3 2018] YouTube removed about 1.67 million channels and all of the 50.2 million videos that were available from them. Nearly 80% of the channel takedowns related to spam uploads, YouTube said."

https://www.businessinsider.com/r-youtube-under-pressure-for...

The remaining 20% were apparently taken down due to nudity and other policy violations.

To be clear: I have no idea whether they're profitable or not. Just pointing out this article.


Thanks.


I strongly agree. I find it telling that no competitor has ever been successful despite YouTube making every wrong design choice possible.


How about twitch?


Twitch is bankrolled by Amazon at this point so it's hard to say whether it's actually a good example. It started out as a live streaming service (for games only!) and slowly pivoted towards YouTube while YT pivoted towards Twitch with the addition of live streaming, subscriptions, etc.


> I strongly suspect that YouTube is not profitable

I strongly suspect that YouTube is profitable, with all these ads.


I wonder how profitable the ads are, given how aggressively they try to push me to signing up for their subscription (also, they seem to increase the number and length of the unskippable ads when they promote their subscription).

I ended up installing Newpipe instead, which is a much better experience.


Seeing how everyone installed Chrome by being pushed the same way, there are probably a lot of people that sign up for this service... so they probably also make a good chunk there.

They don't appear to bug me much though... maybe ublock origin blocks those ads.


On desktop, yes. But on mobile you either have to accept the ads or use Newpipe.


> I strongly suspect that YouTube is not profitable, or is just barely profitable

Why suspect when you can Google...

"On an annual basis, Google says YouTube generated $15 billion last year and contributed roughly 10 percent to all Google revenue. Those figures make YouTube’s ad business nearly one fifth the size of Facebook’s, and more than six times larger than all of Amazon-owned Twitch."

https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/3/21121207/youtube-google-al...


That's revenue, not profits


That's revenue, not profit.


I didn't see any mention of profit there.


Realistically what would happen if you break Google up as described:

Microsoft, Amazon, FB, Tencent, etc. swoop in to grab the market share.

Besides, subsidized services are a special case. Especially Maps and maybe YouTube. Yes, YouTube makes a lot of money. But imagine paying market rates for storage, egress/ingress. They would need to focus even more on monetizing absolutely every interaction on the platform.

For all its faults I value the fact that literally every user can create an account and start uploading (practically) unlimited amounts of video for free and have it be available to over 2.5b+ people. All other issues I would put below that very unlikely accomplishment.


> Page and Brin each own 25.9% and 25.1% of Alphabet's voting power, respectively, accounting for over half of the company's controlling shares. That's because of Alphabet's super-voting structure, which gives 10 votes per share of its Class B stock.

also:

> Mark Zuckerberg owns the majority of the voting rights to Facebook due to a dual class structure that weights certain shares over others.

I would like to see eminent domain used to restructure these companies with weird controlling shared structures in to being truly publicly traded companies as a first step. I have no problem with Zuck getting all the money his shares of Facebook are worth, but I have a big problem with him and the unelected Page and Brin having all that power with no recourse for the market. Am I being foolish?


> I have a big problem with him and the unelected Page and Brin having all that power with no recourse for the market.

I just don't get that mindset. Private-company Google said "hey, we're down to be public, but Larry and Sergey will always control the company... cool?" And the market said: "yeah whatever give us those shares".

It's not like anyone was holding a gun up to anyone's head, forcing them to buy GOOG. They went into it knowing that their shares' votes would be useless.

Page and Brin are elected: the shareholders have validated their control every day since Google went public; anyone who owns GOOG has either been ok with that arrangement, or foolish to hold those shares.


Google has two classes of shares, GOOG (no voting rights) and GOOGL (has voting rights). Despite being worthless for the foreseeable future, meaning until Larry and Sergey sell their shares, the price premium for GOOGL hovers around $5.

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/052615/whats-differ...


Or if one of them wants to cooperate with an external shareholder rather than the other. It's still two people who could have different opinions. Controlling another 25%+1 can be valuable.


> They went into it knowing that their shares' votes would be useless.

I don't disagree with that at all, and I would see the current holders compensated for their shares. What I _am_ saying is I don't think society is benefitting from this structure.

> the shareholders have validated their control every day since Google went public

What? No, that's not how that works. The market has decided solely on the current price for Google shares. There's no nuance about what the market thinks about Page and Brin other than they think that the stock is currently accurately price, no more and no less.


There are all sorts of things that don't benefit society directly that are consequences of things that do benefit society. In this case, maybe society doesn't benefit from the structure of Google, but it does benefit widely from the notion of private property, and the one is a consequence of the other.


I hear your argument, and it’s a good one. That said, we break up monopolies, we confiscate dangerous animals that people privately own, we tax inheritance... and we have well established rules of eminent domain for just this reason. As I said, I have no trouble with them being compensated fairly for it, and I think that protects the economic system.


To be fair, it is not the role of a corporate to "benefit society", but instead to benefit shareholders.


We force corporations to do all sorts of things that harm shareholder value in pursuit of benefitting society. Voters get to decide what they want the role of a corporation to be.


> We force corporations to do all sorts of things that harm shareholder value in pursuit of benefitting society.

True, but those things are not the driving force of the corporate, they're things that the corporate has to do to remain in compliance with the laws of the land. There's a very different mindset between compliance (stuff you do as cheaply and minimally as you can) and your purpose - your raison d'être - the theme that earns the big promotions and holds the attention of the stockholders.

And as for voters deciding what they want the role of a corporation to be... well yes, in the same theoretical sense that voters can decide what sort of healthcare system they want. Or what tax system they want. Which is to say, not at all.


> the unelected Page and Brin having all that power with no recourse for the market

The effective market when it comes to voting shares consists of hedge fund managers like Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman.

Nobody else is organized enough to beat the activist investors and they do all sorts of terrible things with that kind of power.


> Nobody else is organized enough to beat the activist investors

I mean, except each other, and I think I'm OK with that? I'm not saying this is a whole solution, but making Zuck and co accountable to investors is an _excellent_ start. We got the Magna Carta as a result of rich people competing with other rich people.


> I would like to see eminent domain used to restructure these companies with weird controlling shared structures in to being truly publicly traded companies as a first step.

My first question is "why?" What is this trying to fix or achieve, on behalf of who? Shareholders themselves can choose to buy or sell as they please, so I'm not worried about them.

The context of this article is monopoly. My feeling on this issue is that (a) it is a major factor in economic and tech progress (2) our current frameworks, in theory and especially in practice, are totally insufficient to deal with it. (3) Monopolistic positions are, paraphrasing Thiel, what most of the tech industry is about.

Beyond that, there is a lot that can be wrong with shareholder control too. One underlooked problem (IMO) is that "a committee is a committee." If money managers have all the control, we have the same company over and over again.


They did not do anything illegal.

How is this connected to "break up Google" argument?

If this was illegal, I'm sure the SEC would be on it not just for Google but for the million other companies doing the same.


Laws are what the government decides they are, and the details of that are very complicated.

Depending on who you ask antitrust is about the impact on consumers (competition, fair pricing, etc), not about whether some particular footnote to a law was violated due to someone misplacing a decimal point.

FTR the US government has historically in fact made multiple efforts to prosecute companies like Google for violations of the law, so...


Not really.

We, the people, choose the lawmakers (congress) via election.

I still don't see your argument. How is voting power tied to Tim's post?


I never mentioned voting power. You vote to elect lawmakers, and lawmakers draft laws with the assistance of lobbyists + vote to appoint unelected officials responsible for enforcement. Election has no direct relevance here.

"If this was illegal, I'm sure the SEC would be on it" is based on the assumption that laws are infallible text with obvious interpretation, when the history of law enforcement - especially in finance and antitrust - is very fuzzy and about interpretation, with interpretation often down to unelected officials.


The expression ‘break up a company’ carries some moral judgement in it, as if it’s a punishment for doing bad things.

Not sure exactly what it is, but it’s more a societal move that smells a bit of socialism. Google is a capitalist company in a capitalist system, but the breaking up companies / anti trust is a non-capitalist power above it that is willing to sacrifice money to create societal wealth.


Breaking up monopolies gives us more free markets, and is a move towards capitalism, not away from it.


It's fair to say it's a non-capitalist power, I think. It's the government interfering in the operation of companies instead of allowing it to be entirely controlled by the market players - for good reason, of course.

A capitalist alternative would probably look more like levying fees or capping prices to try and balance the market... which is something that also happens from time to time.


Even fees and price caps would not be considered capitalist or free-market - they both interfere with the market dynamics. In all cases, we need to interfere with the free market to improve goodness for society as a whole.

But we don't need to attach moral connotations to this – the companies have done nothing illegal, and the executives are doing their jobs. The issue is when technology is applied to natural free markets, a monopoly logically results, which kills the market if left unchecked.


Why? If investors are willing to give billions for an almost negligible influence on the company and their investment, so be it. Their choice.

I guess it's still better than just sending money down the drain like Softbank does...


Yes to "Am I being foolish?", I mean if you have to ask...


This story is worth mentioning:

https://wiki.fuckoffgoogle.de/index.php?title=Google_Agonize...

Imagine Google had filed for bankruptcy at the whims of Larry/Sergey during the 2007-2008 recession instead of buying DoubleClick. I believe that Google IPOed as a $23 billion market cap company.


I think this article is kind of wild. I would expect someone arguing for the break up of Google would be arguing for it on the basis of a good understanding of the company and the dynamics that would result from the break up. Instead a huge part of the argument is simply that the author doesn't know what makes Google profitable and think it would be great to split them up so we find out.

Google Maps is a great example. The author has no idea if Maps is profitable. What happens if it isn't? You spin it off as its own company, it turns out Google is spending billions driving those camera cars around and has no revenue model (because you just split off Google's advertising business) and within a couple of years Maps can't afford to keep itself up to date, its an expensive unsustainable business (which is why no one else does it) and it either has to sell itself cheap and no one can buy it - because they all know what happened to Google and they don't want their business exploded by regulators. If Google Maps is a huge money spinner (seems unlikely but could happen) well great, you've just created a monopoly that no longer has any incentives for anything other than exploiting their position as a monopoly.


This reminds me of the Street View Wi-Fi gathering privacy scandal. And yes I suspect that it is not cheap, especially during the 2007-2008 recession when gas was expensive. To cover one city probably require hundreds of miles of driving.

Yes, let’s destroy one of the few large companies which has found a viable method of long term innovation instead of endless cost cutting and outsourcing.

Let’s force Google to be like every other company in needing to constantly extract money from every project quarter by quarter.

Not to mention that it is not clear that any except advertising are viable businesses by themselves.

YouTube wasn’t profitable for a while. Even if it is now, it is probably barely so.

Not sure how Maps would make sufficient money without deep integration with advertising.

Android would just be dead.


To be fair the "old Google" mindset died off a decade or so ago during the big Google+ push when they feared an existential threat in Facebook. That threat never quite materialized, probably because FB are just as unsuccessful with their also-ran products as Google are with theirs, but Google still shook themselves up into a company I no longer admire.

For example (and sorry not trying to pick on any team in particular!) compare something like Google+ to Facebook Search, where the team had to actively make the UI worse to use to juice their metrics for FB's onerous performance reviews so they could keep their jobs and continue working on FB Search at all.

Does anyone remember back around the time that Graph Search was a big deal when you lost the ability to directly click on FB Search typeahead results, like starting to type a friend's name and clicking on the suggestion to go straight there? Requiring two clicks instead of one means every one of those searches now counts as a "full" search results page impression =p


I get what you're saying but what if because of this people start to use decentralized alternatives? Open source programs with sufficient support don't take as much money to run and develop as a proprietary service would. Obviously not everything would work but I imagine if we moved social media to something like the fediverse which has already proven sustainable enough it might even be better. Also with android dead, people would focus on more innovative alternatives like linux mobile or the late windows mobile. The few services for the public that google runs that are objectively good and free is google earth, the google search engine (to an extent), and maybe youtube. I like how they innovate but as it is if you tried to cut out google entirely from your life your quality of life would drop substantially to the point where it might affect your job and well being. That is the main problem with google and that's why people think it needs to be broken up.


> like the fediverse which has already proven sustainable enough it might even be better.

Is that going to scale to more than a couple non-technical users?

> if you tried to cut out google entirely from your life your quality of life would drop substantially to the point where it might affect your job and well being. That is the main problem with google and that's why people think it needs to be broken up.

You can say the same about Microsoft Word. When will that be broken up in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel?


Honestly I’m wondering what innovations they’ve had in the last 5 years. I’ve been around long enough to see their decay in that area. YouTube you mentioned was an acquisition. Android was created in 2008. Maps in 2005. What’s really new with Google besides a ton of failed ideas like Reader, G+, and messenger apps?


It's worse than that. Maps was a 2004 acquisition[0]. Where 2 developed the base map tech originally, and Google acquired them and a couple of other companies, combining them to launch Maps in 2005.

Android, also, was an acquisition[1]. Google bought them in 2005 and launched in 2008.

Even their core ad business is mostly-acquired from DoubleClick. Even the "personalized search" they're known for involved an acquisition! Really, the list is amazing.[2]

[0] https://medium.com/@lewgus/the-untold-story-about-the-foundi...

[1] https://venturebeat.com/2010/10/27/google-exec-android-was-b...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitio...


List is amazing ! They've just lucked out on their success.


Project Loon is quite interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loon_LLC

Fiber would have been great had they succeeded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Fiber


Photos Tensorflow Waymo

Can go on and on...


Self-driving cars...


> Force Google to be like every other company in needing to constantly extract money from every project quarter by quarter.

I agree with the article but have my upvote: this is good counterargument to parts of it.


I imagine android would probably survive via search engine placement fees similar to safari / iOS / firefox.


Also funded by all the phone manufacturers who have a vested interest in seeing it not die (like the Linux kernel)


Phone manufacturers on average aren't particularly famous for their contributions to the Linux kernel. It's still notoriously difficult to get mainline Linux to run on any Android phone even years after its initial release.


I'm not talking about phone manufacturers funding the Linux kernel, but how they might want to fund an "Android consortium" like Linux is funded by companies like Redhat and IBM.

> Let’s force Google to be like every other company in needing to constantly extract money from every project quarter by quarter.

I think you're actually making the argument for breaking up Google. Their search monopoly is so powerful and so profitable, that they can afford to just throw money away on hundreds of terrible side projects.


Having lots of profit just means it is a good business.

It doesn’t demonstrate that it is a monopoly nor that it is a harmful monopoly.

There are plenty of other highly profitable areas of business. They just usually take their earnings instead of investing them in new things.


"Having lots of profit just means it is a good business."

Are you going to seriously argue that's the case? The companies that created the opioid crisis made a truckload of money off it. Health insurers make tons of money. For that matters, dealing illegal drugs is very very profitable and that's why crime syndicates are involved in it. So is selling weapons to the military, or generally involving yourself in foreign wars.

Thankfully Google, Facebook etc have not had the kind of negative impact the opioid crisis has, but there's a proven record of negative impacts like the whatsapp lynchings.


Yes I am going to argue that case.

Profits alone do not indicate something evil. Evil things can be profitable, but the inverse is not necessarily true.


In this thread, you have asserted:

* Large profits don't make Google a monopoly * Large profits don't make Google evil

However, no one in this thread asserted otherwise. On the other hand, above you assert that large profits alone are enough to qualify Google as a "good business." It's very easy to come up with historical examples of businesses that made lots of money, but which no one would describe as "good."

Google is a monopoly, not because it makes lots of money, but because it is a monopoly. It captures the vast majority of internet search traffic.


> that they can afford to just throw money away on hundreds of terrible side projects

How is that a problem? I'm glad we have companies that can afford to experiment.


> YouTube wasn’t profitable for a while. Even if it is now, it is probably barely so.

First search result...

"YouTube generated nearly $5 billion in ad revenue in the last three months, Google revealed today as part of parent company Alphabet’s fourth quarter earnings report."

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/3/21121207/youtube-google-al...


And what about the costs? I don't know how to find that for youtube, but here's netflix:

> Netflix operating expenses for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 were $4.809B, a 18.4% increase year-over-year.

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/NFLX/netflix/opera...

They're obviously not comparable directly like this, but just based on internet bandwidth usage, they're probably in the same ballpark, but netflix has a far, far easier technical problem. They have a relatively small library that can probably be cached easily. Imagine the infrastructure that is behind a youtube CDN.


That doesn't demonstrate that it turned a profit though. Video streaming is costly and they pay over 50% of that to creators.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/4/21121370/youtube-advertisi...


Maybe people should just pay for it?

Oh no. How could they make us pay for the software services. Imo, this mentality needs to go. People spend $$$ in cafe, buy expensive branded clothes, transportation, hanging out with their friends, outside food, and so on. All of those are not necessary but they pay for it. They should pay for the digital services they spend most of their time on now a days. What's different?


Everyone has the option for an ad-sponsored or ad-free YouTube for a monthly fee.

Which is how I've been watching YouTube, ad-free for years.


Except, they don't. People aren't willing to pay much for non-physical goods anymore.


/me looks at my Patreon bill

Yeah, no. The problem is Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is garbage, and people don't like to pay for something that is mostly garbage.


If there are no free services subsidized by google or other tech corp, then they will have to pay or shut up.


> People aren't willing to pay much for non-physical goods anymore.

Anecdotal


And guess who's fault is that ?


I pay for Youtube premium, I see no ads, it's amazing...

What is your point here? You want Youtube to be like a cable television company and make money off ads and subscribers?

How does this relate to YouTubes 5BN in revenue?


or we could all move to something decentralized like peertube. It doesn't need to all be hosted by one company.


That doesn't tell us how profitable it is. It might very well be spending more on infrastructure and networking than it gets in revenue. For comparison, Netflix's cost of revenue was 3.6 billion dollars last quarter.


Revenue is not profit.


Sure, but how much did that $5B cost?


I know that there's a quota of at least one "Google bad" article at the top of Hacker News each day, and that's fine and all, but I feel like the bar for them is getting lower.

There's a pretty good case for breaking up Google, but this article doesn't make it. The word "monopoly" doesn't appear once in the whole article, which is pretty weird in an article about how to break up Google and the justifications for doing so. It lists six reasons, and not one of them is about how anybody would be better off if Google were broken up, nor are there any about the legal burdens that must be satisfied to do so.

Instead, we get reasons like "YouTube has become the visual voice of several generations and is too important to leave hidden inside an opaque conglomerate." That's not even an argument. "The world needs Google Cloud to be viable?" That's an argument AGAINST breaking up Google.


"The word 'monopoly' doesn't appear once in the whole article"

You're correct on that! It appears three times.


Ahh shoot, I must've misspelled it when I did a search. You are quite correct! One of the six reasons was in fact that the "maps business has a built-in monopolization risk," which is still a crummy argument, but it IS about monopolies.


Ha.... yeah and I did count that as one of them, because three is funnier than two. :)


> "The world needs Google Cloud to be viable?" That's an argument AGAINST breaking up Google.

The "argument" appears to be that if GCP were a separate company, instead of just a bunch of products inside Google, it's not going to get randomly axed like Google Reader was.

The article also goes on to undermine its own argument by noting that a) GCP is now important enough to be broken out in the financials and b) GCP serves a very different class of enterprise customers.


>"The world needs Google Cloud to be viable?" That's an argument AGAINST breaking up Google

I’m not strongly opinionated either way, but google cloud being connected to the main advertising company is the one of the two major reasons the European public sector isn’t using it. Terrible support is the other major reason.

Maybe google doesn’t want the public sector billions, but something like firebase is actually a better fit for us in a lot of cases than what AWS or Azure has to offer, but we’ll never use it because google won’t guarantee our data stays in Europe or that only European citizens access it like AWS currently does. Likewise, we would never chose to use g-suite over office365, but there you can add a 3rd major reason in that it hasn’t really been updated for 10 years and is now horribly behind office365.

This is my opinion, but I don’t think the services google actually sell for money rather than privacy benefit a whole lot from being a minor part of a major advertising company.


>we would never chose to use g-suite over office365

Do these products meaningfully compete? G Suite seems to be the simple version and Office365 seems to be the complex behemoth.

I see them as a shovel vs a backhoe.


> I’m not strongly opinionated either way, but google cloud being connected to the main advertising company is the one of the two major reasons the European public sector isn’t using it.

Please cite. And is M$ not also advertising[1]? If this ridiculous argument can get people to stop using M$ azure crapfest it might be just the boon I needed.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Advertising


> M$

Really?


And with Firebase you can expect a fast increase in cost within 2-5years (the Google Maps model)


> “For many years, the astonishing torrent of money thrown off by Google’s Web-search monopoly has fueled invasions of multiple other segments, enabling Google to bat aside rivals who might have brought better experiences to billions of lives.”

This was described as the ultimate reason to break up Google. Then he goes on to explain 6 more reasons.


I am all for breaking google, but then you also have apple (app store monopoly), amazon (delivery monopoly), facebook (personal data collection), microsoft (total grip on public contracts)... Not to mention non virtual companies. Are American ready to break Walmart? Cause given their lobbying capability, they are more dangerous than google for democracy.

The sudden focus on google is a bit weird, given how non internet companies have been doing their thing in total impunity for decades. Not saying we should not do it, but it would be sane to also ponder if we are being influenced in doing so, and why.


> The word "monopoly" doesn't appear once in the whole article

„For many years, the astonishing torrent of money thrown off by Google’s Web-search monopoly [...]“


> I know that there's a quota of at least one "Google bad" article at the top of Hacker News each day, and that's fine and all, but I feel like the bar for them is getting lower.

Feel free to make a better one, I'll upvote that as well ;-)


People reflexively upvote any articles that contain Big Tech and something negative. I'm sure most people who upvoted this didn't even read it.


How do we decide which companies to break up ? Similar argument can be made for any big conglomerate. Look at Reliance in India or Samsung in Korea, they sell anything and everything possible. Could it make companies hide businesses as well, just to not want to break up.


Well, this is not a new problem. Antitrust enforcement and breaking up companies has been a thing for decades (if not at least a century)

Starting with companies that make over a billion dollars a year and are in multiple markets seems like an uncontroversial place, though.


Starting with companies that make over a billion dollars a year and are in multiple markets seems like an uncontroversial place, though.

The problems don't occur when companies are in multiple markets, arguable that is better for competition and hence the person on the street. The problem is when a company or two dominates a single market.


You're correct that dominating a single market is bad, but using your dominance of a single market to bankroll taking over other markets is pretty nasty and you can't trivially do something like that if you aren't already fabulously wealthy from dominating a market.

In the case of the article, it's specifically talking about how Google is doing that.


> The problem is when a company or two dominates a single market.

It would also be bad if one company dominated multiple markets. (just a nit pick on your phrasing)


Didn’t feel much substance in this, though to be fair I felt the same wait from his aws farewell (maybe I just don’t relate to his writing style?).

Anyways, I think all the talk about breaking up google/Facebook etc feels performative at best - never seem see any solid reasons Or arguments. Would be nice to see tech people use their clout for actually monopolies, eg intel, ykk group, Tyson, etc.


Is anyone else tired of seeing the same hate Facebook, Zoom and Google narratives every single day.

So, we want to break up Google because it has gotten too big. What about Luxottica? It has over 80% market share on eyewear brands. What about Pearson? It has over 60% market share on testing market? What about Paypal? It has over 80% market share on online payments. What about Aetna (merged with Humana) on health care market? List goes on..


All these companies obtained this market share by purchasing competitors or integrating surrounding businesses. You're right though, they're all problems and shouldn't have been allowed to acquire so casually to their current market positions.

That being said, Google gets primary access to your personal data and habits, and then also gets to sell advertising based on that data. That's certainly more unseemly than having too few choices for eyewear, don't you think?


"That being said, Google gets primary access to your personal data and habits, and then also gets to sell advertising based on that data." Then lets find legislation that enforces privacy, but still allows them to work with advertisers. The platform is here, but needs adjustment.


Well, you are still free to not use Google and deny them access to your data, there are alternatives to all of their services. With some of the other companies mentioned, this might be trickier...


> All these companies obtained this market share by purchasing competitors

And Google has acquired hundreds of companies in the last 20 years.


Ok, if you don't want to break them up, then can we at-least consider anti-trust charges?

US anti-trust litigation has degraded to the point of non-existence. Microsoft faced anti-trust charges in 1998 that will puzzle most youngsters in HN today - because both Google and Apple do far-far worse. Destroying all competition via control of the market has become normalised US corporate behaviour. Why has this been allowed to occur ?

For all its faults, the EU appears to notice this when the US doesn't.


You’re forgetting the monopoly situation Microsoft had for desktop computing in the late nineties. For better or worse, neither Google nor Apple has a monopoly in mobile, and Apple aren’t really attempting to leverage their natural monopoly in tablet computing (leaving aside the somewhat dubious WebKit requirement on iOS).


Courts do not require a literal monopoly before applying rules for single firm conduct; that term is used as shorthand for a firm with significant and durable market power — that is, the long term ability to raise price or exclude competitors.


Paypal? Absolutely.

Luxottica, Pearson, Aetna - no idea. Perhaps they're having similar discussions on eywear community messageboards and healthcare messageboards where they know about such things?

Or perhaps you can write a sensible, well-reasoned article using evidence on how these companies are similar to Facebook, Google or some other tech behmoth and what the appropriate remedies are or aren't? Just a thought.


Your argument doesn't take into account the absolute market size and influence. No one is churning out propaganda on the other companies you mentioned because those markets are either much smaller or much harder to manipulate than Google's market.

Why would people try to cancel Luxottica? Eyewear touches a much smaller market and doesn't have nearly the same potential to manipulate people as Google does (at least not yet). People will always focus all of their attention on the largest threat.


If the ball gets rolling with breaking up one of these companies and the rest follow, isn't that a good outcome? Arguing for all-or-nothing feels like letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

For what it's worth I do think those ones should be broken up as well, no reason to confine our attention just to popular tech companies.


This is his 3rd article in a “series” on breaking up monopolies. In his first article, he summarizes a book and covers your examples:

https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/202x/2020/06/08/Anti-mono...

His second article is about breaking AWS out of Amazon, into a fictional company called A-Cloud. And he’s using Amazon’s own project planning process to do so, though I can’t tell if it’s out of habit or for the mordant irony.

https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/202x/2020/06/21/A-Cloud-P...


Aetna shouldn’t be broken up - it should be nationalised!


Large market share just doesn't mean much unless the market has non-trivial barriers to entry that make competition infeasible. And that's certainly the case wrt. the 'platform'-like businesses of Google and other large tech firms. They should simply be required to be interoperable with other players in the market, and a break-up is definitely one way of pursuing this.


I think you underestimate how many fans of strong anti-trust enforcement would actually be in favor of breaking up almost every one of those mega-companies that's been vacuuming up competitors through acquisitions for decades.

All the examples you mentioned probably have a negative impact on the market (and the public), the ones I'm familiar with definitely do.


I'm tired of there being reasons for the same hate Facebook, Zoom and Google narratives every single day.

> What about Luxottica? It has over 80% market share on eyewear brands.

I would assume optometrists and opthamologists argue about that on their own forums rather than this tech forum filled with people mostly from tech.


Because this is HackerNews and we are more affected by Google than those other companies.


I doubt this. Most people here employ ad blocking of some form, use Firefox and religiously de-google. At least this particular thread is probably 90% of those people.


If you work in the tech industry or have a web site, I'd say there's a good chance you are affected by Google.


exactly. I'm not saying that those companies are perfect, but writing opinion articles only against them it's becoming a bit too much.

You can also find it in many marketing strategies of some companies. Take duckduckgo for example, I love them more than google but I'm kinda tired of 'Use us, Because Google is BAD' approach



Unfortunately, this is not going to be nearly good enough.

I'd adopt a salt the earth policy with respect to the spying parts of Google. That'd be a start.

Sadly, there'll be plenty of companies that'll fill its shoes to continue spying on people, and many more that already do.

So much of the modern internet is built on a foundation of spying on users, and most companies will not willingly give up all the dollar signs they see when they think of spying and even more spying on their users and everyone else they can gather data on.

It's super depressing.


Funnily it doesn't actually say where the broken-off Search is supposed to go. Along with the ads division? Doesn't really feel in line with the break up idea...

Disconnected from the other stuff it subsidizes, what is the massively profitable search business actually supposed to use that money for? Massive dividends? Diversifying into anything just gets them into the same kind of problem immediately, no?

It sort of feels like the main benefit here would be from the proposed privacy law vs. breaking up Google.


Break Google's ad business and their other products. Imo, that is the way to go.


Keep innovating the same way it's doing now, and break-off the next thing that reaches monopoly status ?


No court in the US is going to break up Google because Tim Bray thinks “The world needs Google Cloud to be viable” and “YouTube is too important to leave hidden inside an opaque conglomerate“. They May be broken!up, but not for these ludicrous reasons.

Read a little about anti-trust first. Matt Stoller has an excellent, approachable email newsletter called BIG about monopolies.


After reading Matt Stoller's book Goliath, I've come around on breaking up big companies like this, primarily as an act of undoing mergers and acquisitions that should never have been allowed in the first place.

So splitting off YouTube seems obvious, since it should never have happened. Some of the others are more difficult, since they're not the result of acquisitions. Then again, DoubleClick was a large acquisition, so splitting off Gmail and so on as a proxy for undoing the DoubleClick acquisition probably makes sense, too.

As Bray points out, Google is deliberate vague about a lot of numbers, but reverting acquisitions always seems like a good first step to me.

[0] https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Goliath/Matt-Stoller/...


Break Up Amazon & Facebook too.


Current (US) laws, if I understand correctly, designed to prevent leveraging success in one market to harm your competitors in another.

For example if Chrome would only work with google docs and not microsoft live.

USA does not have laws to break up companies simply for being too big or even for being used by majority of customers.


US Anti trust laws applies to monopolies [1] where one of the penalties for abusing a monopoly is breaking up the company which was famously done to Standard Oil and AT&T. The EU have found Google guilty of antitrust violations and fined them a record €1.5 billion.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law#Mo...


A lot of his arguments make sense for amzn, facebook, ms, all the big tech players I think. He indirectly mentions this in a couple cases, even if his focus is on Google. I think it's reasonable to focus on them because of the huge impact services like Maps can have on commerce.


The author asks how gmail makes money. Their "business email" where you bring your own domain costs about 5GBP a month, and that's their cheapest plan.


It is curious to read someone who has clearly never used Google products pontificating about restructuring Google.


It is more dangerous to leave Amazon and Facebook in their current state as Google but yeah all of them could be split into smaller companies. Also Apple also.


Amazon I can see. Facebook and Apple? Neither of them have a monopoly to leverage that requires breaking up.


I agree with the general premise of this content, but as a non-American I'm curious to know if financials of a public company is not clear, shouldn't it be addressed with the securities exchange(SEC)/companies regulator (or) shouldn't they themselves investigate and penalise obscurity?


When breaking up a tech company, an option that never seems to be considered is to give the products to both child companies. That way they start to compete with each other. Admittedly, only one can have, e.g. the youtube domain or associated employees but many things are just a case of making a copy.


> youtube domain or associated employees but many things are just a case of making a copy.

Who has the domain is not a small problem...


You could confiscate the domain so that both products have to compete from scratch, or go with a domain-splitting solution sort of like how the european regulators' "Browser choice" resulted in a randomized list of browser options at first Windows boot.

Not sure I'd argue either of those would work, but there are options.


Yeah, let's break up Google! I've been depending on their software for almost 15 years now, I use something they made practically every hour that I'm awake, and never paid a cent for it! I'm really getting a raw deal here!


You paid. You were just asleep and didn't notice.

Google, facebook etc. They don't pay tax. Do you? What do you get for your tax? What do they get from tax revenue to which they don't contribute their share?

The kicker is going to be when you think "What if I didn't want to use any google product. And I was willing to pay real money to achieve that. Could I?" Then you realise google still have all your mail and browsing history. Paying. Yep. How? Through the nose.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality


Are you sure you've never paid a cent? Many products or services you buy are probably funneling some money into Google's pockets - perhaps licensing fees or agreements with Google, company profits being handed to Google for advertising. If you've ever bought an Android app or In-App Purchase, 30% of that went directly to Google.

If you think you're getting Google products and services for free, you're just not paying attention.


I guess Google has received 30 cents from when I bought something on the Play store.

It still seems to be a pretty good deal when you compare the bill for GMail, YouTube, Google Search, Drive, Docs/Sheets and Maps to the cost of the phone bill, cable tv, and internet.


To be fair you really pay with your data. I know there are different opinions on this topic but fmpov this is the worst type of payment.


How would breaking it up affect that in the slightest? Also being an unpaid user doesn’t mean your data you generate is valueless.


Yt infrastructure cost without Google would to be to high ... YT can only exists due to cheap infrastructure that it can leave the thanks to Google scale


Generally interesting article. Makes his case pretty well

"But YouTube definitely has to be its own thing; it’s got no real synergy that I can detect with any other Google property."

This is a funny observation because YouTube was originally an acquisition and its integration with other Google products is very strange. It has at most points in time had its own rules about anonymity, privacy, multiple accounts, etc. Supposedly the gender setting (now google-account-wide) was originally a YouTube piece of data that got repurposed for use in G+ and other services that needed it.


You gotta be extremely shortsighted to fail to see how YouTube fits inside Google. I’m really shocked Tim would say something like that.


> When? · The best time would have been sometime around 2015. The second best…

This makes sense.

Maybe then we would see some attention directed back to search quality and to delivering a quality alternative smartphone os (I finally caved and went for iPhone last year after 8 years of waiting for another good Android. Yes, that means I used to like one or two of the early models.)


Does the NSA need Google as-is, or could they just as easily get your data from many smaller companies?


> Google Apps and Google Maps are both huge presences in the tech economy. Are they paying for themselves, or are they using search advertising revenue as rocket fuel? Nobody outside Google knows.

Arguably Apple also learned the lesson of how valuable Google Maps is. Direct ad revenue from maps is not the only source of revenue. Maps is a key feature of Android phones, (and iOS really) and Android OS is valuable due as a source of search engine traffic. And the money search engine traffic makes is able to invest in more improvements in Maps.

> The online advertising business has become a Facebook/Google duopoly which is destroying ad-supported publishing and thus intellectually impoverishing the whole population

There is a pretty insightful twitter thread from a journalism prof I can't find just now that made a persuasive case that newspapers killed themselves. They had 30 percent margins in the 90's and instead of adding staff and growing the business they focused on cost cutting. Ad-supported publishers kinda did this to themselves, and it was craigslist who knifed their cash cow (classifieds). And really, Craigslist sat on its ass too.

> The world needs Google Cloud to be viable because it needs more than two public-cloud providers.

IDK how Tim thinks public clouds are funded. Cloud vendors have massive startup costs -- every server you buy takes years of customer billing to pay off -- and I don't think anyone is gonna be down for a bond issue for 'we promise to just be like Google but smaller' spinoffs. I can name a dozen public cloud venders[1], but none have any where near the clout. And yet for some reason Tim isn't talking about why Amazon is a near monopoly.

> the real reason Android exists is that Google needs mobile advertising not to become an Apple monopoly.

This is the same reason Apple Maps exists (and dozens of other services you've never heard of). I have no idea what breaking up Android would accomplish though; Android Inc would pretty much have to replicate the same state of affairs via contracts with Alphabet, with diminished ability to integrate. It's super weird that Nokia face planted a decade ago in their role of providing a third option.

> What we do know is that people who try to make a living as YouTubers sure do complain a lot about arbitrary, ham-handed changes of monetization and content policy.

I don't see how a spinoff saves Youtubers any grief. Tim's general thesis is that Google should spin off it's services, watch the profitable ones thrive and let the break even (or worse) ones die off. If Youtube is a break even affair, I don't see how viewers or content producers benefits from less platform competition in the space. If it's capable of standing alone, what's the harm in Google owning it?

[1]: Google, Oracle, AliCloud, Azure, Rackspace, IBM/Softlayer, Digital Ocean, Saleaforce, VMWare, OVH, Hetzner, Linode,


Just do it!




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

Search: