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US Treasury Secretary Calls For Google Monopoly Probe (theregister.co.uk) 86

After a 60 Minutes episode that focused on Google and its effective search monopoly, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called for large tech companies to be investigated for potential antitrust violations. Asked whether Google was abusing its market dominance as a monopoly, Mnuchin told CNBC on Monday "these are issues that the Justice Department needs to look at seriously," and argued that it was important to "look at the power they have" noting that companies like Google "have a greater and greater impact on the economy." The Register reports: Mnuchin's willingness to directly criticize Google and other tech companies and argue that they should be under investigation is just the latest sign that Washington DC is serious about digging in the market power of Big Internet. It is notable that it was 20 years ago, almost to the day, that America finally dealt with another tech antitrust problem when the Justice Department and 20 state attorneys general filed suit -- on May 18, 1998 -- against what was then the most powerful tech company in the country: Microsoft.
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US Treasury Secretary Calls For Google Monopoly Probe

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  • Dupe!
    https://search.slashdot.org/st... [slashdot.org]

    Editors: I suggest to just google the title you are about to publish to help avoid dupes.

    Example: I googled for " US Treasury Secretary Calls For Google Monopoly Probe" and found the previously posted article right away ("Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Wants Justice Department To Scrutinize Big Tech")

  • Modern economic "trickle down theory" says if you make wealthy people and corporations richer, some of that money will trickle down to campaign contributions.

    This is just a warning shot that the contribution was not enough to satisfy current needs.
  • It is long past time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @08:12PM (#56650340)

    Google has been ripe for anti-trust for more than long enough. And for the people that are asking why lets break it down. Google is NOT just a search engine. Visit a few websites and look at who all is running scripts. Most sites will have at least 1 or more of googles analytic, tagging, ads, or static services. Next up is Android... do you use Android? Then you have a relationship with Google like it or not. Play Store is owned by Google or Alphabet whichever.

    Do you use Chrome, google owns it. Remember when Microsoft was in trouble for just having internet explorer installed when you got it? The simple fact is that you cannot do nearly anything without Google on the internet. And while that might seem harmless it is not. Google tracks you, tracks what you do, catalogues what you like or it thinks you like. Google keeps bio-metrics and facial recognition of you. Once you are in, you are IN!

    Google is in your business, they gather and correlate any an every bit of information about you that it can so it can sell it and use it to appropriate more information about you to sell as well. The problem is not just monopoly, it is anti-trust, and that means google colluding with and influencing or even "forcefully/maliciously influencing" businesses they partner with the same way Walmart and Amazon likes to push distributors and suppliers around with their largess...

    If you are a small business... and google tells you that you need to do something or face being delisted or worse... what are you going to do? They are a big player and if you don't play according to their rules they have ways to make life tough for you, no one is going to actually care! Google just simply should NOT be allowed to be a browser, search engine, business data/analytic, application store, ISP, and ad service all at the same time.

    Anti-Trust is NOT about keeping people from using google as a search engine, or ads, or as a content provider, or as application store, or as a mobile OS platform. Anti-Trust is about Google owning and operating all of those at the same time and keeping their API's in house just enough so that they are not easy to use by competitors. Because now that google owns most of the logic on the roads, you still have to bend to their will or you just get no service and websites will not serve up content to you unless you accept google!

    • so what is being done about Microsoft? 5,000 employee company is paying those bastards $1 million a year to keep the software cops from shutting the business down. Google is not extorting us for $1 million per year....

      get off my lawn you punk!

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Got any citations for that FUD? For example, that Google keeps your biometrics?

      None of that is an issue for competition anyway. What matters is things like promoting Google products over others in search. The EU has already dealt with this, and it seems like the US just wants the same now.

      • There's plenty of issues for concern. Here you go. [wikipedia.org]

        He's probably talking about this part: "If I look at enough of your messaging and your location, and use artificial intelligence, we can predict where you are going to go. Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are." That'd be your face as a biometric, coupled with you name. But from the context, I think that's Schmit talking about how things COULD happen. What's possible rather than what Google does. Schmit does this. Remember when

    • Totally agree that Google has been ripe for this for a long time. Decade+. They've got more power and control over the masses than is reasonable and their potential for abuse is MASSIVE.

      But unless there's actual instances of them abusing said power... I don't think they deserve to have anti-trust laws brought against them. And we shouldn't punish those who don't deserve it least the FTC simply become a popularity contest or worse, fall prey to crony capitalism.

      Imagine the potential abuse that a malicious

  • This should be very interesting. Are they a "web search" monopoly or are they an "web advert" monopoly or a "user uploaded video" monopoly. Should the government differentiate between say professionally developed videos and user uploaded web videos? I mean they have utter and complete control of the user uploaded video market and they take away peoples livelihood on a whim leaving people no where else to make a real living. I am just interested as to how they determine which factor is the monopoly or is it
  • I'm confused.

    What market do they monopolize?

    In what situation does anyone not have a choice as to whether to use some product or service offered by google, or one offered by another entity?

    • by Patent Lover ( 779809 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @08:56PM (#56650562)

      I'm gonna google it.

    • I'm confused.

      What market do they monopolize?

      They have a de facto monopoly on search. To "google" something is synonymous with web search.
      They are over half of the cell phone market (All android). All android phones are tightly integrated with the Google store, Gmail, Google Calendar, etc...
      They provide analytics, scripts, advertising, and other services to all websites.

      In what situation does anyone not have a choice as to whether to use some product or service offered by google, or one offered by another entity?

      Web browsing in general. if you look at the cross-site references to almost every site you browse, you'll see google-analytics, adsense, googleapis, or any other of a number of google-

  • If we get everyone to use Bing instead, the government would be forced to break up Microsoft, instead!
  • You know what's funny? Both Apple and Microsoft greatly abuse their monopolies in their respective OSes, which actually seems impossible if you think about it.
  • yep, you got it. My ass hurts, the doc says it is hemorrhoids... But I think it has been from all the years taking it from the nice folks at Microsoft. Damn, they have been getting away with this for decades but now the boot is in the ass to both Facebook and Google...

    This stinks like there is a dead fish under the passengers seat.

    Who in the hell keeps giving Microsoft all the freedom they have and everyone else gets to be broken up??? I can expect more butt hurt from the bully that keeps telling me to

  • I see someone has decided Google isn't donating enough money to politicians again.

    This is the way much of the world works. The only difference is the west pays closer attention and such donations must be on the up and up.

  • Google actually has competition, in pretty much anything it does.
    The cable industry doesn't, and it shows. Why hasn't Comcast been investigated?

  • Maybe they should go after the ISPs first. Even Google gets slapped around by them.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun