The state of Ohio in the United States wants to classify Google as a public utility. That means Google will be put in the same bucket like your electricity provider and water board: “Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Tuesday filed a landmark lawsuit asking the court to declare Google a public utility, reining in the ways the powerful search engine provides search results to the people of the State.”
This comes after France’s competition watchdog fined the web search giant 220 million euros ($268 million) on Monday for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry.
The Attorney General accuses Google of being anticompetitive, forcing Ohioans to use its products in the first of its kind case.
“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products–that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”
There is actually a reason for that: Google has become very powerful. In a Harvard article, I used this line to describe this position: “Apart from those areas, everyone is competing against global ICT utilities like Google and Facebook”. Yes, Google is not just a public utility in Ohio, it is a global one.
Yet, Google is in this powerful position due to innovation. The world should not blindly punish it. What I expect to happen is for them to make Google more responsible. It continues to devalue views for publishers even as it continues to declare record profits. So, what took you 2,000 views in 2019 may require 4,000 views for the same amount of money. And Google does this unaccountable to any person. If those selling building materials, medicines, education programs etc do just that, the world will not be happy. So, Google must be put under control!
As they work to fix Google, let them check Facebook which wants to monetize everything after getting most people to converge on its ecosystem: “Social media site, Facebook, says that some of its free services, including fan subscription, badges and online events, will be monetized by 2023.”
Facebook’s Chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, made the announcement on Monday, stating that the idea is to help content creators eke a living on the platform.
He also assured that the revenue share will favour content creators compared to what Apple and other social media companies offer.
“To help more creators make a living on our platforms, we’re going to keep paid online events, fan subscriptions, badges, and our upcoming independent news products free for creators until 2023. And when we do introduce a revenue share, it will be less than the 30% that Apple and others take.
Pure and simple, the world needs to find competitors for Google because its best feature, data, will keep it biggest.---
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