Responses in the Business, Government Regulatory, and Consumer Communities
Naturally, Googles customers appreciate every innovative addition to the Google suite of Internet services that make life easier. However, business competitors are concerned because the expansion of Google beyond the provision of information and into the direct sales of goods and services represents tremendous competition from a well-funded and extremely innovative company with as much (or more) single-handed control of online information as any nongovernmental entity. In France, that nations Authorite de la Concurrence (competition authority) issued a ruling against Google based on the companys misuse of its dominant market position. The European Commission has also launched investigations of Google in connection with possible antitrust issues raised by its business practices.
Likely Future Implications and Expectations
In the future, it is likely that Googles competitors will continue to avail themselves of all available legislative avenues to compete against Google.
In that regard, the specific laws of different nations will likely dictate the outcome of many aspects of Googles newest business strategies. In France, for example, it appears that industry dominance over information retrieval methods is sufficient to trigger regulatory restriction, even without financial motives for decisions about what information to make publicly available. In the United States, it is not clear that any such restrictions exist, although both the U.S. And the European Union do maintain strict antitrust prohibitions over the misuse of that information for monetary profit or to benefit a specific company.
In the U.S., it is more likely that evolving definitions of copyright and other components of intellectual property rights will dominate the legal landscape facing Google, rather than restrictions based solely on its dominance over its industry and market..