US lawmakers are deliberating on whether Google should sell Chrome


Posts: 16   +0
Why it matters: The Department of Justice is looking to bring antitrust litigation proceedings against Google. The search giant is feared to be using its market dominance to dictate significant changes that have far-reaching consequences.

Lawmakers are looking to force Google into selling some of its online properties. Its core businesses include advertising and related technology, the Google search engine, and the YouTube social media platform. All in all, the company has a 251 product portfolio that includes Gmail, Chrome, Maps, Google Play Store, and Android.

Its reach via these segments currently exceeds the 2 billion user mark and dominance over multiple key industries, especially the advertising market, one of the main reasons legislators are concerned.

According to the latest report, the Department of Justice is mulling over which Google property to break up. According to insiders, Chrome is one of the products being targeted. The browser is believed to be central to how the company collects user data and influences the search industry.

Unveiled in 2008, Google's Chrome browser currently dominates the US browser market. According to Net Market Share, the company has a commanding 69.19 percent paramountcy. A slew of Google rivals accused the company of using its browser to track users’ search habits and incorporating this into its advertising business.

Google has tried to mollify skeptics by announcing that it will disable third-party cookie functionality on its Chrome browser within the next couple of years. This is in a bid to enhance user privacy. Cookies track users across websites and are pivotal to advertising effectiveness because they help target users with the right ads, based on browsing patterns.

Google’s $3.1 billion DoubleClick acquisition in 2007 notably propelled its advertising segment into the formidable advertising powerhouse that it is today. For perspective, the company achieved $134.8 billion in revenue in 2019, which is approximately two times what Facebook was able to rake in within the same period.

The present scrutiny is over whether Google is unfairly undercutting and stymieing competitors, publishers, and advertisers with the provision of its services.

The Justice Department has yet to respond to the litigation reports. Google has also yet to comment. In September, Google Vice President Sissie Hsiao defended its business model while underlining that it was operating in a competitive environment.

“We compete with lots of other companies in this space, including household names such as Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, Oracle, and Verizon. In just the last few years, many of these companies have bought or introduced new ad tech platforms, each bringing its own unique advantage,” she said.

European regulators fined the company $1.7 billion for abuse of its dominance over the ad server sector in 2019.

Regulators in France, Australia, the UK, and Germany are already looking into related violations.

Image Credit: JHVEPhoto

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Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
If they force the sale of assets then need to make them entirely sell it and prohibit any re-purchase or reinvestment into the product(s). This is the only way the new product will be able to grow and prosper without interference from Google or Alphabet.


Posts: 360   +448
Ads based on your searches? How about ads based on your WhatsApp messages? I've seen it countless times, ads based on what I was texting about recently and haven't ever searched for.


Posts: 187   +322
Google has been using it's market dominance with Chrome to make it as hard as possible for any other browsers to function properly as much as possible. We wouldn't have a chrome version of edge of this wasn't true. Google has absolutely abused it's market power for years and years now.


Posts: 210   +239
Google has been using it's market dominance with Chrome to make it as hard as possible for any other browsers to function properly as much as possible. We wouldn't have a chrome version of edge of this wasn't true. Google has absolutely abused it's market power for years and years now.
Can you please elaborate on that? I am using Firefox for as long as I can remember, with Google as my search engine and homepage, without any issues. Occassionally (when there is a glitch, or a corporate software demands) I use Explporer. I don't even have Chrome installed on any of my systems (3+2 in the household), though it is my first choice for my smartphone and tablets.
So, how is Google screwing me? I'm really not defending (I'm not even sure what I should be looking for), I'm just genuinely curious (maybe I missed (or missed out on) something?).


Posts: 1,083   +1,968
DOJ is looking for a PR reason to make it sound good to split up a giant company. Make the company sound as bad as you can to the public and tell the public why this split needs to happen. They will control the information released and do so in their favor - thus forcing the company to defend themselves and try to prove to the public they're not as bad as being portrayed.

Government is scared of these massive tech companies because of two main reasons:
1) The power they have (for example: look how Twitter or Facebook just scrubs the internet of things they don't like)
2) The value they're worth (they make enough money that they don't need anything from the Government anymore and they laugh at the paltry fines given to them)

The Government goes through a few steps: First, tie up the companies in as much red tape as possible and if that doesn't work, fine them and if that doesn't work split them up. The Government wants to keep as much power in their hands as possible, for as long as possible and the giant companies want to be rid of the government and control things on their own.

I don't know what's worse. Having the Government run and control everything (look what they're doing now with Covid, they've literally crippled the economic structure of the world and are telling people who are essential and not essential. And now that they've crushed the economy and people are struggling the Government can't get their **** together and won't admit they f'ed up) or allowing giant corporations take power and control everything (they control internet content and they are ever improving upon their ways to manipulate/control what people see and should buy every day)

.....either way, anyone not in power (not at the top of the Government or giant corporation) is screwed.


Posts: 3,419   +3,106
Apparently Google didn't learn what happened to MS back years ago. Remember when MS was sued for similar things? THEN MS started playing the game by paying the K street lobbyist. Once the MS lobbying money started floating around the halls of congress/senate, the politicians started leaving them alone. After all, you can't expect politicans to "get by" on around $200k per year do you, and, still become millionaires. ;)