October 22, 2020


The Feds' Antitrust Case against Google Is Weak (THE EDITORS, October 21, 2020, National Review)

Is it harmful to consumers for Google to pay other companies to feature its search engine as the default? That's a hard case to make, because it's generally easy for those who prefer other search engines to change the default, as Google and the alternative engines are all free and switching can be achieved in a few clicks; because these lucrative arrangements help to subsidize the devices consumers use; and because most users would probably choose Google anyhow, if its runaway success over the past two decades is any guide.

The argument to the contrary, as it stands so far, is highly speculative. It holds that consumers would be better off if they had to affirmatively choose Google, because other engines would then have more of a chance to compete, and the added competition and innovation would lead to better products and greater choice, and lower rates for those who advertise in web searches. That argument may find some sympathy in court, and it might even be true.

It's a lot of time and money to waste on the notion that your computer ought not default to the best service.

Posted by at October 22, 2020 7:36 AM