An Open Letter to the Federal Trade Commission on its investigation into Google for monopolistic practices.
To whom it may concern:
Google represents everything that is great and more importantly, fair, about the United States of America. Inside Google, strong ethics and moral standards play a greater role in making business decisions than business does. Google spends more time trying to be fair than it does trying to make money. They have spent years building a great service, a technology, a brand, and a workforce. They are successful and profitable, but they attained that success through hard work, innovation, and fair play.
When the term monopoly is used, it conjures up images of Standard Oil who controlled 88% of oil flows into the U.S. Does Google control all searches? Not at all. Only 69.7% according to the latest Comscore numbers. Some 30%+ of users use Bing, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, and a myriad of other profitable search companies.
Microsoft used to push its browser, its operating system, and its software package in one all encompassing push. Yet how does Google's Chrome Marketshare compete? A lighter, faster, less virus prone browser only takes roughly 10% marketshare, while a sub-par Internet Explorer grabs the lion's share. Google could have pushed much harder on Chrome, but didn't. Google barely uses their home page to push any of their other products.
And all the while, in social networking, Facebook is a monopoly. We don't have any choice in choosing a social network. There is only one. Google has a social network called Orkut, but you would have never heard of it, because Google doesn't promote it in its own search results.
Ironically, Facebook gets more traffic from Google than any other source on the web.
Are there people upset with Google? Of course there are, because every day Google's search rankings change and many companies are greatly affected by the traffic they do and do not receive from Google. For each click that is taken away from one web site, you get one angry, vocal webmaster. For each click that is given to another, you get one very happy, silent webmaster. It's the nature of the SEO game. The ones in the back of the pack need to call the system unfair, while the ones in the front pray it continues.
What is unfair is penalizing a company for its success. Google shareholders have already run for the door on merely the discussion of an inquiry. FTC, I call upon you to drop this investigation and allow fair competition to thrive in our United States of America.