Recently, Google has to answer some questions from the European Union whether it’s exercising a monopoly on the Internet search market. Eric Schmidt delivered a speech to the EU stating that because of the open nature of the Web, it’s nearly impossible to establish any kind of monopoly.
In his speech and blog, Schmidt argues that Google’s main service is search, and the company has more than its fair share of competitors. Apart from its traditional rivals in Yahoo! and Bing, the company also faces adversity from local search engines, social media outlets, and e-commerce websites.
For example, Qwart and Baidu are laying claim to France and China respectively, while sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor are taking the people interested in looking for information regarding specific places and businesses. Sure, Google can still service the audiences of all those other websites, and some of them probably will, but they aren’t forced to use Google, as would be the case if it were a monopoly.
This proves two things: first, the Internet is so vast that even a behemoth of a company like Google can’t occupy its entire space; and second, Google isn’t invulnerable. Even Schmidt admitted it as much when he said that a “Google-killing” company is inevitable. He points to his own experience, because they were the giant slayers of AOL, when they first started the company from their garages.
If it’s possible for a company as large as Google to be taken down, how secure is it to do business over the Internet? SEO company Benson Media noted that there are entire industries that depend on Google for their own operations, including digital marketing.
The answer depends on how people look at it. If they make the comparison between Google’s failure to a brick and mortar service such as General Motors, they’ll see the imminent repeat of too big to fail. But, Google operates in a space wherein multiple companies are always waiting to take their place once a big fish eventually falls.
This is what Facebook did to Friendster and MySpace, and that was what Wikipedia did to Ask Jeeves. The services won’t be the same, but there won’t be any vacancies on the Internet even if the big players eventually fall.