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Is Google the next Microsoft? Competition, Welfare and Regulation in Internet Search

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  • Pollock, Rufus

Abstract

Internet search (or perhaps more accurately `web-search') has grown exponentially over the last decade at an even more rapid rate than the Internet itself. Starting from nothing in the 1990s, today search is a multi-billion dollar business. Search engine providers such as Google and Yahoo! have become household names, and the use of a search engine, like use of the Web, is now a part of everyday life. The rapid growth of online search and its growing centrality to the ecology of the Internet raise a variety of questions for economists to answer. Why is the search engine market so concentrated and will it evolve towards monopoly? What are the implications of this concentration for different `participants' (consumers, search engines, advertisers)? Does the fact that search engines act as `information gatekeepers', determining, in effect, what can be found on the web, mean that search deserves particularly close attention from policy-makers? This paper supplies empirical and theoretical material with which to examine many of these questions. In particular, we (a) show that the already large levels of concentration are likely to continue (b) identify the consequences, negative and positive, of this outcome (c) discuss the possible regulatory interventions that policy-makers could utilize to address these.

Suggested Citation

  • Pollock, Rufus, 2008. "Is Google the next Microsoft? Competition, Welfare and Regulation in Internet Search," MPRA Paper 8885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8885
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Justus Haucap & Ulrich Heimeshoff, 2014. "Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay: Is the Internet driving competition or market monopolization?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 49-61, February.
    2. Justus Haucap & Torben Stühmeier, 2016. "Competition and antitrust in Internet markets," Chapters, in: Johannes M. Bauer & Michael Latzer (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of the Internet, chapter 9, pages 183-210, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Wiebke Roß & Jens Weghake, 2015. "10 Jahre YouTube: Von dem Aufstieg einer Plattform und der Entwicklung neuer Märkte zum Kollateralschaden einer Google-Regulierung?," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0014, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal).
    4. Haucap, Justus, 2018. "Big Data aus wettbewerbs- und ordnungspolitischer Perspektive," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 96, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    5. Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2017. "Ordnungspolitik in der digitalen Welt," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 90, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Budzinski, Oliver, 2016. "Aktuelle Herausforderungen der Wettbewerbspolitik durch Marktplätze im Internet," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 103, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search Engine; Regulation; Competition; Antitrust; Technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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