Last week the French Competition Authority officially declared Google a monopoly. Said the NYT:
“That conclusion is hardly novel, but the decision appears to go beyond any previous official ruling in the United States or elsewhere.”
The ruling, ironically perhaps, came in response to Google trying to do good. Google decided that a radar gun produced by a French company, Navx, helped people break speeding laws. Google suspended Navx from AdWords advertising.
The company took a big hit in sales and drove (quickly, one assumes) to the Competition Authority for assistance.
The French position according to NYT:
“It does not matter that Navx is not a competitor to Google. Because Google is dominant in its market — Internet search word advertising — it must act almost as a government agency, with clear rules that can be understood in advance and are fair to all.”
Google position: we’re good corporate citizens, slow drivers and:
“the relevant market is all of advertising, in which Google has a tiny share, rather than online search ads, in which it is dominant.”
U.S. position: there isn’t one. U.S. regulators punted on this same issue–in approving Google’s purchase of DoubleClick.