While technology giant Google is continuing to deny accusations that it possesses a monopoly that is in violation of European antitrust laws, some people have been stepping up to defend the company.
According to some key academics, the accusations against Google are largely being blown out of proportion.
Such a claim is being made by both University College London Professor David Evans and Oxford University Professor Ariel Ezrachi. The two professors presented their own personal views to the House of Lords’ EU Internal Market Sub Committee.
Professor Evans said there is little point in regulating the rapidly changing technology industry, where innovations are occurring at a lightning pace, making it extremely difficult to maintain a prominent status quo.
Professor Evans went on to say that he believes that the investigation against Google is mostly the result of serious lobbying by Microsoft.
It does make sense that Microsoft would try to take down Google. When it comes to operating systems for smartphones, Google’s Android has outperformed Microsoft’s Windows Phone by an extremely large margin.
Meanwhile, Professor Ezrachi said that the Competition Committee of Europe needs to be extremely careful in coming down hard on Google, or else it may discourage future competition.
If there is a cause of concern about Google, Professor Ezrachi said that it would mostly be the result of key differences in approaches to competition between the United States and Europe. According to Professor Ezrachi, European officials are more hostile towards monopolies, and they are more likely to get involved when they feel that the process of fair competition has been threatened.
In the mobile phone operating system market, it’s very difficult to rally from behind. It’s natural that companies would promote their own services in their own search results. To not do so would be like Walmart telling you to go elsewhere to buy a new television after you finish your grocery shopping.
Professor Ezrachi also noted that even when people are unhappy with the results of a search engine, they are unlikely to switch to another.
"The empirical evidence suggest that most users, if search results are not what they expect, will not try to change. The switching costs (to another search engine) are perceived to be much higher,” he said.
So while some people are continuing to cry afoul about Google, there are other minds out there who feel that the company has done nothing wrong.
What the case in Europe will ultimately come down to is whether or not the domination by Google had led to sufferings in terms of quality, while also making it completely impossible for smaller companies to even get their feet inside the door.