Brian Hall made an insightful observation about the growth and power of Google – one that is worth discussing. Hall notes that Google has stopped innovating and is using its power to copy, emulate, bully, threaten and manipulate. The news that Google was purchasing Motorola seems to bolster Hall’s analysis.
- Yelp gets popular? Copy their info; shove Yelp to the bottom of the page and put Google Places and reviews at the top.
- Groupon won’t sell? Spend billions from other businesses to destroy them.
- Twitter and Facebook innovate on search? Take their content, whine when they try and stop you then spend billions to prevent their growth and hopefully destroy them.
- Apple working on a touchscreen smartphone? Spend billions from another business and copy everything you can, down to swipes and apps.
- Need a smartphone operating system with Java. Take Java and use it for your own ends.
- Need a location mapping technology and Skyhook won’t sell? Spend billions from your monopoly profits and strongarm your partners and drive Skyhook out of business.
- Buy up the big travel search sites.
- Claim you are open source but share nothing related to what your business claims to be about — search, and nothing related to how you make your money — advertising
- Claim you are open and standards based but control who gets access to your smartphone operating system
Like all rich monopolists, they spend millions hiring high priced lobbyists and public relations teams inside the Beltway — for their direct benefit.
Hall can add a new bullet to his reasoning with the company’s snatching of Motorola. The deal will add fuel to the fire on anti-trust investigators who thought Google was too big and powerful before the Motorola acquisition.
But perhaps more significantly is that the purchase of Motorola is another example of Google using its riches to capture market-share, using its power in Washington to see the deal approved and seeing innovation and invention take a back set to crony capitalism driven profits.