This will be a bit of a rant so be ready. Here is the problem for me and it once again focuses on the European Union’s ridiculous notion that in a free market there is such a thing as too much success.
The EU allows anyone or any entity who wants to whine about Google’s ‘dominance’ the chance to fight against the search giant in the name of fairness. Fairness is just an ideal and a dumb one at that. Unfortunately, it seems that whenever anything is done by the EU or EC or whatever it is called, it is done with this concept as its basis.
News flash everyone. Life isn’t fair. I don’t say that lightly because I (like the rest of you) could complain about plenty of things that I have been ‘wronged’ by. I could but I also understand that things don’t need to be fair to be right. You may disagree and that is just fine but this notion of all things being equal and that there is a need to bring down the successful ones to the level of those who aren’t as successful is just plain stupid.
The latest version of this comes from complaints from Microsoft (Really MS? After all the years of running roughshod over people? Please!). Bloomberg Businessweek reports
Google Inc. is being probed by European Union antitrust regulators for allegedly discriminating against competing services in its search results and for stopping some websites accepting rival ads.
The European Commission will check whether Google “imposes exclusivity obligations on advertising partners, preventing them from placing certain types of competing ads on their websites, as well as on computer and software vendors, with the aim of shutting out competing search tools,” it said in an e-mailed statement today.
Microsoft Corp. service Ciao from Bing, U.K. price- comparison site Foundem, and French legal search engine Ejustice.fr filed an antitrust complaint against Google in February. The antitrust probe adds to separate criticism from French, German and British data protection regulators over Google’s StreetView service that collects data from private homes.
This whole thing has been going on for quite some time with Foundem being part of from the beginning. They even got time in a New York Times editorial which drew the ire of industry insiders who called Foundem an SEO failure in their search for search neutrality.
Look, I am not saying that Google is perfect. They prove how far they are from that every single day. They have, though, done something really well (organized the world’s information to a degree) and actually really important (making sense of all this information to a degree). My question is at what point is it their responsibility to make everyone happy? I suspect that they don’t need to manipulate things to protect their business considering their competition is so inferior in most cases that even if people were to leave Google ‘on principle’ they would come crawling back because it works.
I am not advocating that Google gets free reign and gets to run everyone into the ground. All I am asking for people to stop whining. If you are getting beat then you either need to settle for your part of the market that likes you and uses your service or just get out. Business is for big boys wearing long pants and not whiners looking to hit the lottery through the courts. Until the EU understands that the world will never be fair there will likely be room for this kind of drivel to keep raising its ugly head.
Update: Shame on me for not seeing this before but Danny Sullivan’s take on this whole thing is pretty funny.