The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued a lawsuit against Google due to alleged violations of antitrust laws. This lawsuit could change our understanding of Big Tech companies and how we use technology.
Texas A&M University Professor Kirby Goidel stated that many people are worried about the concentration of power that Google has. Thus far, the giant company has not been awful in how they use their power, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be.
The DOJ declared that Google has engaged in “anti-company” practices over the past decade, along with unlawful exclusionary contracts and bundling. That means that the company has prevented other firms from entering the industry by buying and eliminating start-ups instead of creating a more diverse market and allowing for technological innovations.
Economics professor Fernando Luco noted that the process in which major tech companies acquire start-ups and eliminate the competition is called “killer acquisitions”. Furthermore, that process will eventually damage consumers as the companies acquire start-ups to kill an idea or project in the hopes of preventing future competition.
Google has acquired almost limitless information from its users in the process of eliminating competition and innovation. The company is a conglomerate that works with other major tech companies, including Mozilla, Apple, and many others. However, these partnerships make sure that the apps make Google the default browser, and they block competitors as well. As a result, Google can promote its own advertisements first.
Luco states that nearly 80% of searches are through Google nowadays. That encourages advertisers to put their ads on Google. Most consumers will see those ads, which allows Google to get their revenue from the advertisers.
The partnership between conglomerates and advertisers eliminate competition. It also creates a bias, raising questions about Google’s responsibility in spreading misinformation.
Are unregulated technologies the bane of misinformation?
According to Goidel, Google is a content aggregator and not a content creator. But the company permits everyone the freedom to post whatever they want, labelling it as “news,” allowing for the spread of misinformation. However, the new lawsuit forces people to analyze Google’s effect on the public, especially when it comes to obtaining information.
People are intentionally using the internet to misinform people, passing on misinformation while making it look like fact – stated Goidel. He added that while they don’t want the government to control information, there still needs to be some regulation. Citizens must have the correct information, but it’s hard when there are such companies as Google.
- Trading Instrument