Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said social media excesses should lead to increased regulation of internet platforms in the years to come.
Schmidt, who left the board of directors of parent company Google Alphabet Inc. in 2019 but is still one of its largest shareholders, said the US government’s antitrust lawsuit against the company on Tuesday was moved, but that more regulation may be needed for social networks in general.
The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for fools and lunatics is not what we wanted, Schmidt said in a virtual conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. unless the industry reacts in a really smart way, there will be regulation.
Without knowing who is referring to us, you might think he is talking about how the whole tech industry has failed to stop sites like Facebook and Twitter from creating echo chambers and polarizing politics. in the world.
He is certainly a member of the tech elite, which many other CEOs have paid attention to.
You may remember that Schmidt also personally controlled one of the biggest social networks for many years: YouTube. He chaired the $ 1.65 billion buyout in 2006. He then remained CEO of Google until 2011 and was CEO of Alphabet until early 2018.
This year, YouTube finally revealed that it was making $ 15 billion a year, so perhaps the purchase was now justified in purely financial terms. Socially, however, it sounds more like he’s apologizing that YouTube’s golden age is over. This is not what we wanted.
Google’s YouTube has attempted to reduce the spread of misinformation and lies about Covid-19 and US politics over the past year, with mixed results. Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. have also been criticized in recent years for allowing the dissemination of racist and discriminatory messages which have been widely disseminated online.
Schmidt also argued that Google’s massive search activity, the target of the US Justice Minister’s antitrust lawsuit, continues to be so successful because people choose it over its competitors, not because it uses its size to block out its smaller competitors.
I would pay attention to these dominance arguments. I just don’t agree with them, Schmidt said. Google’s market share is not 100%.
Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google
An opinion (unsurprisingly) shared by Kent Walker, chief legal officer of the company, who said in a blog post: People use Google because they choose to do so and not because they have to or because that they cannot find alternatives. Walker said the lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. On the contrary, it would artificially promote lower-quality search alternatives, increase phone prices, and make it more difficult for users to obtain the search services they want to use.
It should be noted that the US Minister of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit on Tuesday against Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, claiming that the company is using its market power to oust its rivals. The minister said nothing was out of place, including a disbandment of the internet search and advertising company.
Today, millions of Americans depend on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s lawsuit against Google for violating antitrust laws is a matter of the utmost importance to both the Minister of Justice and the people. American.
Over the past 16 months, the antitrust division has gathered compelling evidence that Google no longer competes purely on substance, but instead uses its monopoly power – and billions of monopoly profit – to lock down key avenues of government. research on mobile phones and browsers as well as next-generation devices, depriving competitors of distribution and scalability, he added.
The bottom line is that no one can challenge Google’s dominance in search and search advertising.
The Minister of Justice also accused Google of concluding agreements with major brands like Apple and of stifling competition through contracts and exclusive commercial agreements. Google’s agreements with Apple, mobile phone carriers and other phone makers to make its search engine the default option for users accounted for most of its dominant market share in search, said. the minister, advancing an estimated figure of around 80%.
In this regard, Google argued that there was nothing wrong with its deals with Apple as well as other smartphone makers, comparing them to grain brands paying for prominent placement on store shelves. . The company also said it was not difficult for consumers to change Google’s default settings to another search engine.
And to explain that Apple offers Google Search in its Safari browser, because they say that Google is “the best”. This arrangement is not exclusive – our competitors Bing and Yahoo! pay to feature prominently, and other competing services are emerging as well.
Source : Wall Street Journal
And you ?
What do you think of his words?
I would pay attention to these dominance arguments. I just don’t agree with them, Schmidt said. Google’s market share is not 100%. Can this statement be interpreted as antitrust investigations should only come into play when you have ruled out all competitors and are now literally serving every human being on earth ? When do you think there should be an opportunity to initiate an antitrust investigation (based on a market share threshold – eg 70, 80, 90% -, financial capacity, etc.)?
Do you share the point of view of Schmidt who argued that Google’s enormous search activity continues to be so successful because people choose it over its competitors, not because it uses its size to block its small competitors?
Do you share Schmidt’s point of view that social networks are amplifiers for idiots?
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