miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2016

Google; Just the beginning of its domain

There are few doubts of Google's domain of the online world. Currently the second most valued company (after being the first until 2016 Q1) and by far the company with the largest user base (you only need to compare the number of iphone vs android users). The debate is around if we are facing the peak of its domain or just its begining.

The multiple investigations for monopolistic practices that has been opened  in Brussels give us the impression of approaching to dissintegration, either for a sentence asking to separate part of businesses or due to an unpayable fine. Same could be said of some after the last European Commission´s proposal for regulations, heaviliy critisised in US as anti-Google regulation. However, neither the consequence of the investigations nor the new regulations could mean a drawback to the Internet giant but the opposite.

Take the issue of the EC investigation on Android operating system. The EC is accusing Google of abusing its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers. The jury is still out of the room but the a negative sentence for Google could have implications on the Android ecosystem. There would be a high probability that Google would stop publishing free versions of Android, with highly probable negative consequences both for manufacturers and developers, while Google could continue its activities with an Apple-like business model.

Similar analysis could be done on the alleged anti-Google regulation proposed by the European Commission. The paramount example of this regulations is the proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. Apparently, the regulation impose harsh obligations to Google for controlling  the publication of videos in YouTube and the obligation of taking into considerations the rights of publishers in Google News services. However, as EDRI has detailed the consequence could be an increase of Google´s monopolistic power. On one hand, Google is the only player that has the technology for controlling copyright in UGC platforms as YouTube. On the other hand, the experiences in Spain and Germany have demonstrated that Google could avoid paying any compenstaion to the publishers while others are not in the same position.

So, in spite of the signs, I beat more on the option that Google is at the first phase of its domain of the technological sector. Perhaps the only clouds in the horizon are the overwhelming position of Amazon in cloud services and the fierce battle around Internet of the Things.

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