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Reasons for Favoring the DOJ Over Google

Reasons for Favoring the DOJ Over Google

In our survey regarding antitrust issues, we presented participants with a summary of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit centers around Google’s strategy of paying device manufacturers and browser companies to be the default search engine on devices and browsers. We asked survey respondents questions about the strength of the DOJ’s case, who they’d favor, and why they would favor that party. Below are some of the reasons why participants ended up favoring the DOJ over Google.

Google Has a Monopoly and is Too Powerful

Many of the participants favoring the DOJ over Google believed that the sheer size of Google’s market share was evidence of a monopoly. 

Google has a Monopoly
"Google has established a monopoly that very clearly cripples any attempt to develop any kind of competition, basically making them way too big on the scale of search engines and simultaneously giving it an unfair share of the advertising market and the income associated with it."
Google has a Monopoly
"I find the business practices of Google very nefarious. They wield far too much power!"
Google has a Monopoly
"As time has gone on, Google's dominance has increased and competition has decreased making it self-fulfilling monopoly."
Google has a Monopoly
"Google having that much ownership over the search engine market is definitely a monopoly and gives them too much power."
Google has a Monopoly
"Google's power enables it to limit competition and obstruct other businesses."
Google has a Monopoly
"I agree that Google's forced dominance is anticompetitive & I do not agree w/ Google that they don't force people to use their service or make it difficult to switch."
Google has a Monopoly
"Although Google isn't forcing people to use their search engine, they are monopolizing the system and making it hard for people to have free choice."
Google has a Monopoly
"This case reminds me of previous antitrust cases. A lot of the time, a growing monopoly can be sneaky in that the company doesn't directly get rid of competitors but rather makes it more difficult to find other companies to use and easier to find the company monopolizes that area."
Google has a Monopoly
"Google's domination in agreements does not allow for a competitive market thus creating a monopoly, which is against the antitrust act."
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Government Regulation Should End Google's Search Engine Monopoly

Some respondents favoring the DOJ over Google believed that it was the DOJ’s duty to end Google’s search engine monopoly. These participants saw the tech industry as “uncharted waters” that need to be regulated by the government.

The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"Google is actually breaking antitrust laws by controlling the market."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"Google is actually breaking antitrust laws by controlling the market."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"DOJ is fighting for my rights to privacy and Google is fighting for its right to my privacy."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"Google and tech companies are corrupt and need a good wake up call, Congress has failed to act against them because they line their pockets and contribute heavily to their campaigns. This is an example of what's wrong with America."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"I feel I could trust the DOJ to have the interests of the general public in mind more than a private corporation [Google]."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"I think DOJ is for the people."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"I think our judiciary is fair and that some laws have been broken by Google."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"I would favor the DOJ because Google clearly has a monopoly over search engines. Whether or not this has occurred as a result of directly unlawful tactics, Google is still a monopoly and needs to be broken up or regulated to allow competition."
The DOJ is Right to Intervene
"The DOJ has an obligation to keep Google from monopolizing the search site industry and have fair competition."
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Other Search Engine Companies Should Get a Real Chance to Compete

Many of the participants favoring the DOJ over Google saw Google’s market share as a sufficient reason to increase competition in the search engine industry. They believed that Google’s practices make it difficult for another company to compete with Google. 

Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"All of the search engines have a right to become superior but Google steals it from them."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"Google's size and financial wealth make it far too powerful for smaller companies and search engines to compete or to contract with major cell phone manufacturers."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"Google shouldn’t be the only search engine that pops up first thing on a phone."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"By Google having the monopoly over these tech companies, it means that it would be extremely difficult for a start up or smaller entities to find their way into the industry."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"I do believe that it has become impossible to compete against Google."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"Google has so much money and influence that they overbid for the right."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"I use google myself because it is most prevalent, which is because it dominates over every other search engine. Other search engines really don't stand a chance, and they don't even get an opportunity to."
Other Search Engines Can't Compete
"Google's practices make it difficult for a business to enter the market and have a chance to compete."
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Google's Tactics Bully Competitors

Some comments reflected opinions that Google’s practices were a form of bullying other companies in the industry. They saw Google’s size as an oppressive force that makes it impossible for other companies to compete.

Google Bullies Competitors
"Google has gotten too big, they run over everybody else, they want all the business for themselves."
Google Bullies Competitors
"Google wants to dominate all the search engines. It doesn't give any options for the others.
Google Bullies Competitors
"Google has too much power, control almost all searches, and they crush their competitors."
Google Bullies Competitors
"Google does use practices that are unfair, it seems. It is also a big company that notoriously bullies competitors."
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Many Consumers Do Not Know How to Change The Default Search Engine on their Devices and Browsers

One of Google’s main arguments was that consumers know how to change their default search engines but they don’t because they like Google’s product. Many of the participants thought that, the way consumers use their devices and browsers, changing their default search engine is not something they think about or know how to do.

Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"A large portion of the population does not know how to make other search engines their default, so they just use whats already programmed in."
Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"I have noticed that, in every Android phone, there is no uninstall option for Google's browser, Chrome, nor for Google Search."
Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"Google being the default isn’t technically fair. I feel like there should be an option when you first get your phone or smart device to set up which browser you want. That would be more fair than having a default option."
Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"Google has effectively cornered the market at the manufacturer level instead of leaving the decision to the consumer level."
Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"I think the DOJ is right about the Google monopoly. People don't actually have any other search engine alternatives as it is the default on most operating systems."
Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"I think the end user should be able to decide who they use as the default search engine and make it easy to do so."
Consumers Don't Change Their Default Search Engine
"The DOJ is right that consumers can't choose to program alternatives unless you program it manually; unless, you or someone you know is aware of how to program an alternative."
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Google Alters Search Results to Its Own Benefit

One of the DOJ’s claims is that Google’s practices reduce competition in the advertising industry by placing sponsored query results ahead of non-sponsored results. Respondents did not like that practice. Participants favoring the DOJ over Google believed that Google was manipulating the public by putting the sponsored results above the most relevant results.

Google's Agenda Is Promoted in Search Results
"Google is a huge company, and they choose what they want the public to see. I think it is wrong to do that. There are no equally big search engines to turn to."
Google's Agenda is Promoted in Search Results
"Google has been altering search results to come up in a way that favors their own agenda like Facebook has."
Google's Agenda is Promoted in Search Results
"Google undoubtedly has a monopoly on search engines, and has essentially hijacked a large portion of the internet to necessitate and reinforce its use, effectively making the appearance of 'consumer choice' an illusion."
Google's Agenda is Promoted in Search Results
"Instead of giving organic search results, Google gives results based on how much money the businesses spend."
Google's Agenda is Promoted in Search Results
"They obviously have a monopoly. I am also bothered that Google promotes advertisers in their search results."
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Google Has Too Much Private and Personal Data From Users of Its Search Engines

Some participants favored the DOJ because they believed that Google’s information gathering practices are inappropriate. Respondents’ privacy concerns also led to some favoring the DOJ over Google. They believed that Google’s data collection and use needs to be regulated.

Google Misuses User Data
"Google tracks user's data through the internet and share it with its clients, compromising the privacy of the user."
Google Misuses User Data
"Google has a very large control of the information of the people of the USA and the world. It is not correct that a private company has so much information, that it can be used only for commercial purposes."
Google Misuses User Data
"Google has data on everyone and sells the data to companies too much."
Google Misuses User Data
"Google is taking advantage of people's blind trust on them. It also tracks each and every piece of information, what people search for, what are their habits and shows ads according to our search habits and tracks where we live, where we go and suggest stuff that we look for. It is very creepy in so many aspects. Simply we have lost our privacy and we have no control over it."
Google Misuses User Data
"I agree with DOJ for the simple fact that Google can have access to our data from phones or other devices. That is very personal information that should not be shared nor should anyone have access to it."
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