diberry - 10:52 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
@albo, as I understand it (someone who's read a lot about monopoly stuff, but isn't a lawyer or expert of any sort), wheel has it in a nutshell. Once you become very dominant, you may have the ability to buy or destroy most of your competition (as Google does). But that would make for a very uncompetitive market place, so you're not allowed to do that.
Google has done something a bit sneakier. They've leveraged their competitors' need to be included (and ranked) in their results to force their competitors to do things to boost Google's profits. That's definitely an abuse of power.
And let's remember why they have that power: because MSN was heading toward that dominance, bundling MSN search into IE, and Google helped break down their search dominance by giving evidence in the DoJ case against MSN. That makes it even more the govt's responsibility to do something to level the playing field - not just between G and other SE's, but between Google Places and Yelp and other Google services and their competitors. (Is there a field Google hasn't entered yet?)