The EU’s got it all wrong on Google

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman

“By fining Google £2.1bn for giving special prominence to Google Shopping in shopping-related searches, European regulators have made exactly the same mistake that they and US regulators did when they fined Microsoft for bundling its Internet Explorer with Windows in the 1990s. The basic error is to assume that Google or Microsoft’s dominant position in the market is unchallengeable — that they are akin to ‘natural monopolies’ like, say, water or electricity companies, and can use their position to exploit consumers — and that instead of competition between platforms being able to take place, they must brute-force competition within those platforms. … If people can switch between platforms it doesn’t matter that much if, within a platform, there isn’t that much competition. Prioritising a particular shopping search engine is not akin to gouging water users with higher prices because there are alternatives to Google that users can switch to easily.” (06/27/17)