Google was recently on trial for potentially owning two-thirds of the cyber market. Ken Auletta’s “Googled: The End of the World as We Know It” was an accurate premonition of the heat Google is now receiving for monopolizing the web. Just last June, the Federal Trade Commission began investigating the web monster to see if it’s been promoting its own products in searches and whether its behavior has been legally sound.
The government has developed concerns that the search engine has become the threat that Auletta warned it could be in his book. Auletta described the two faces of Google; the possible violation of antitrust law has shined a spotlight on the more nasty one. Last month Google Chairman Eric Schmidt testified in front of the Senate, claiming that the company has yet to abuse a dominant business position and is therefore not violating any specific law. He also said that Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, has been having an influx of traffic and Google’s perceived dominance.

Schmidt did admit, however, that his company is teetering on the border of a monopoly, but it wouldn’t matter either way because monopolies are legal.

I do like how Auletta’s book discussed both pros and cons of the company, but wished he had focused more on the cons. We are already aware of how individuals, small businesses and giant corporations have benefited from Google, so I was hoping for him to put Google’s business ventures under more scrutiny. I know they’ve been on a hiring rampage and creating so many jobs for individuals in the IT field, but I’m curious if, after further study, we could have found a definite correlation between Google’s expansion and the current U.S. employment issue.

It was fascinating to learn that Google’s searching algorithms are confidential, which made me question the purity of their success. Auletta was a bit frosty in his own skepticism concerning the company, which was only heightened by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s unwillingness to be interviewed.

Page and Brin’s interview-dodging has proven, thus far, to be a savvy move since they’ve been put on trial and penalized for nothing. However, there does seem to be a correlation with the monstrosity of Microsoft that made the competition cower in fear years ago. But Schmidt claimed that they had learned their lessons from the familiar incident.

Google is public for the most part, but the secrecy that lies behind how they “randomly” determine what is featured is currently under interrogation and should be monitored (to an extent; I still support a free market) to ensure that there is no Internet domination.

Google’s empire will continue to perpetuate affiliated businesses, but they are walking a fine, legal line and might require regulation in the near future.