Has Google Become a Monopoly?

By Alex Condo

Google is undeniably a part of life for most of everyone reading this. Web search, documents, slideshows, spreadsheets; almost anything you can think of technology-wise/related to tech, Google has something for it. Many people have criticized the fact it’s so widespread and known across the world, and this new situation is just another example of that.

The Department of Justice has officially sued Google for its dominance in advertising and web search. In fact, this is the second time it’s happened. Google didn’t have any major repercussions from the first 2020 case (just a $391 million slap on the wrist), so it comes as no surprise that a second trial was bound to happen. Hindsight, we should’ve seen this coming, as Google has contributed so heavily to modern life. However, when you’re just living, it’s pretty easy to ignore how much Google is truly in it. This brings up a question: is Google a monopoly?

Technically, there are other ad services and search engines to choose from, but none of them are as popular as Google. The fact that there isn’t any diversity in programs used for search in schools is pretty alarming in and of itself. If schools aren’t using other engines, people won’t care, as they’ve been conditioned to only use Google. However, this didn’t happen overnight. Situations like this are caused by complacency with something over a long period of time without putting serious thought into choice. Google may be very close to becoming a monopoly if it hasn’t already.

A similar situation happened with Ticketmaster. They too are claimed to be a monopoly on a service (tickets this time) and have also been recently sued for making competition too difficult. This time, the lawsuit was caused by a Taylor Swift concert, as fans have been getting asked more and more absurd prices for tickets, some being tens of thousands of dollars.

The band Pearl Jam tried to circumvent Ticketmaster by touring outside the system in 1994. However, they eventually canceled due to unknown reasons. It’s alleged that Ticketmaster attempted to boycott the tour and threatened to sue them. In response, Pearl Jam sued them back, calling them a “virtually absolute monopoly,” when it comes to ticket sales. If Ticketmaster was being criticized for monopolization 29 years ago, and it still is, then Google may be headed down the same path years from now.

It’s unlikely that Google’s going away anytime soon, but if the Department of Justice keeps poking the bear, it’s going to wake up eventually. Soon enough, the Empire that Google has created will start to crumble. Take what you will from this, but one thing is certain; Google and Ticketmaster aren’t going to stay forever, and something’s going to take both of their places. It’s just a matter of time.