Based on what you read, do you think Google is a harmful monopoly that should be subject to U.S. anti-trust action? Explain
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Under existing United States laws, monopoly is not illegal. Attempting to beat the competition through lower prices, constant innovation, improved efficiency, and superior customer service is equally legal. Antitrust regulations only come into action against a monopolizing company when the company hinders the entry and competing capability of another organization. Since the technology industry is one of the most vibrant in the U.S. It is subjected to continual disruptions and competition. Apparently, this is the opposite of the market attributes antitrust laws envisaged to stop.
Whereas Google appears to be the most influential player in the digital market, other companies are just as powerful. They include Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. It is important to recognize that antitrust laws were mainly designed to protect the consumer, not competitors. Therefore, if the tactics the competitor uses in gaining market share aggrieve any of the other companies, they should seek innovative ways to remain ahead of the competition. None of the leading five companies can be accused of being a monopoly because none of them holds a prevailing share of the market. Whereas Google may have a monopoly in the search market, it generates income from online advertising. On this business platform, it faces stiff competition from Facebook. Amazon is intermittently improving product search to weaken Google’s main source of income. Apple prides itself on a portfolio of mobile productivity applications. To compete, Microsoft has an Office app in its gadgets. On the other hand, Google developed an online version, leveling the competition platform.
Consequently, it would defeat logic to subject Google to U.S. antitrust action while the technology market has a way of leveling the competition on its own through the innovativeness of Google. In essence, what appears to be monopoly benefits consumers, efficiently meeting what was envisaged by antitrust laws.
Do monopoly powers harm an economy? How so?
Often monopolies lack price restrictions as well as competition in their respective areas. In gaining dominance and preventing others from entering the market, these entities use acquisitions, mergers, and patents. When unmonitored, such entities negatively affect the economy. The ability of a monopoly to raise its prices indeterminately is harmful to the consumer and, by extension, to the economy. Highly lucrative monopolies do not find it necessary to invest in product or service improvement because consumers do not have a choice. Since new entrants are likely to introduce better products and services, these entities ensure there are extreme entry barriers. They do not offer adaptations or free rides to their patents. These entities dictate wages. Consequently, the labor force significantly decreases. The workforce is undedicated, hence low economic productivity.
Why is some degree of monopoly power permitted?
Monopolies are detrimental considering that they lead to increased prices. They are often inefficient, as the consumer has to purchase the service or product they offer. Nevertheless, they also have some advantages. Monopoly companies make high-profit returns. Hence, they can afford to invest in immense financial resources into research and development. In most cases, R&D leads to the innovation of better products that meet the needs of the market. Typically, monopolies enjoy economies of scale. They can produce goods in bulk. Consequently, average production costs are lowered. The decreased cost can be passed on to the customer as low product prices. Monopolies are allowed when globalization is considered. When the international competition is stiff, domestic monopolization becomes necessary for a country to compete effectively.