DuckDuckGo founder says Google’s partnerships with Apple, others stifle competition

DuckDuckGo founder says Google’s partnerships with Apple, others stifle competition

DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg testified in the DOJ’s antitrust trial against Google Thursday that it was difficult for his search engine company to compete with Google because of its deals with Apple and other tech companies to make its product the default search option.

Associated Press:

“We hit an obstacle with Google’s contracts,” Weinberg said in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The U.S. Department of Justice argues that Alphabet’s Google has smothered competition by paying companies such as Apple and Verizon to lock in its search engine as the default choice — the first one users see — on many laptops and smartphones.

Weinberg testified that getting users to switch from Google was complicated, requiring as many as 30 to 50 steps to change defaults on all their devices, whereas the process could be shortened to just one click on each device.

“The search defaults are the primary barrier,” he said. “It’s too many steps.”

The MIT graduate started DuckDuckGo in his basement in Pennsylvania in 2008… DuckDuckGo still handles only 2.5% of U.S. search queries, Weinberg testified Thursday.

MacDailyNews Take: While we wish Apple wouldn’t take Google’s money because the monopolized online Search Engine + Digital Ad Network that exists today (and has for years) is bad for everyone not named Alphabet Inc., Apple certainly has the right to monetize Safari’s default search engine – until they don’t. With both companies so large, it may be — in fact, is very likely — that the deal stifles competition in the search engine field. Antitrust remedies are called for in such cases.

Again, Google is a massive problem that simply must be addressed. There is one “Big Tech” company that is really stifling competition and for which antitrust remedies are in order: Alphabet (Google). — MacDailyNews, October 20, 2020

When one search engine has 86% share of the worldwide market (and Google basically isn’t even used in China), there is far, far, far too much power concentrated in one company. The whole concept of the World Wide Web is destroyed when a sole gatekeeper basically controls what gets seen, read, and heard. It’s not open, it’s completely closed and controlled.

Publishers who want to be read, for example, spend an inordinate amount of time making sure they follow Google’s dictates, nebulously sussed from Google’s secret algorithm, formatting their sites, even writing their articles a certain way, including certain words they might not choose if allowed to write freely, simply to please Google’s algorithm…

Hopefully, lawmakers can come together to figure out a way to do something to remedy the horribly uncompetitive situation in internet search. Google is, and has been for years, a perfect example of why antitrust laws exist. — MacDailyNews, July 29, 2020

With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t. — MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017

Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?

You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)

That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.

The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.

In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone. — MacDailyNews, July 14, 2016

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