Yesterday The European Union sued Google under its competition law. This lawsuit shows either that the European Union understands nothing about the way technological acceleration affects competition or that the EU is biased against American companies or both.
The complaint is that Google has monopoly power in search and that it abuses this power by favoring its own services, like its own travel reservation business, in the links it provides to queries. But with a few taps on a keyboard or a click of a mouse, consumers can easily switch from one search engine to another, casting doubt on the EU’s claim that Google has monopoly power. More importantly, technological acceleration makes it very unlikely that Google could maintain an entrenched monopoly in search over the long haul. As people spend more time on their smart phones and less time at their computer, Google’s form of search is increasingly displaced by apps. Another threat to Google is Facebook, which uses the connections of its social network to customize search and advertisements.
The difficulty of maintaining entrenched monopoly in accelerating technologies is not unique to Google.