This Week’s Report: “Google’s Dominance”

Google is much more than an iconic search engine, as technology writer David Hatch reports in this week’s CQ Researcher. The company’s vast portfolio includes airline ticketing, comparison shopping, social networking and mobile-phone software, among other things, and Google’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility would greatly increase its reach in the wireless phone industry.

Google’s rapid and aggressive expansion has drawn intense criticism from competitors, who portray the company as a monopoly that leverages its power to bully rivals, and from federal regulators, who are investigating whether Google is violating antitrust laws.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, defends the company against charges of monopolistic behavior, telling a congressional hearing, “We live in great fear …that consumers will switch in extraordinary numbers to other services.” But a skeptical Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said he was wary “of big companies that simultaneously control both information and the distribution channels of that information.”

This report is ideal for classes and reports dealing with business law and ethics, congressional oversight and the relationship between technology and culture.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor