“Monopole” is French for Google

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.

Published by Margot Williams

Margot Williams has more than two decades of experience in roles as investigative researcher, research editor, database editor, technology trainer and library director at The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gannett newspapers and Time Warner. She was lead researcher on two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams at The Washington Post for reporting on terrorism in 2002 and for an investigation of the use of deadly force by the District of Columbia police in 1999. Margot is the co-author of “Great Scouts! CyberGuides for Subject Searching on the Web” (Cyberage Books, 1999) and contributed to the “Networkings” column in The Washington Post for five years.

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