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Google may face antitrust challenge on Chrome

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
11 years ago2,307 views

redOrbit / Posted on: Wednesday, 3 September 2008, 09:30 CDT

"Microsoft has vowed to fight back against the launch of a new web browser by arch-rival Google, promising new features for its market- leading Internet Explorer and putting itself on alert for a challenge to Google on competition grounds.
...."

Link:
redorbit.com/news/technology/1 ...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It's FUD.

Because Chrome is an open source browser, Microsoft can exploit it too. Therefore, it can't possibly be anti-competitive.

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

No part of that article mentions anti-trust accept the title. Effectively, all it says is: "Microsoft has a new IE in beta which will compete feature-wise".

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Martin I thought the same thing about that word not re-appearing in the article! Here's a paragraph going into that a bit:

<<Microsoft has become increasingly willing to challenge Google for acting anti-competitively, and insiders will examine whether Google oversteps any legal boundaries with the way it links its browser, its core search engine and its new office software.>>

... but it doesn't have any specific quotes from Microsoft or name who the insiders are.

> Because Chrome is an open source browser, Microsoft can
> exploit it too. Therefore, it can't possibly be anti-competitive.

Are you sure? I think open source or not, a software could cause monopoly concerns if it has one main vendor and a huge market share, and if that vendor uses it to pimp some of its other (potentially non-open source) software. In this case, e.g. Chrome potentially hardwiring benefits for Google Docs.

But well, right now Chrome simply doesn't have any real market share so I guess all those legal concerns would have to wait until it does, or not? (I'm no lawyer!)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Chrome potentially hardwiring...

An open source project cannot "hardwire" anything. In a few months there are going to be many, many different builds of Chrome being distributed.

If Microsoft is smart, they will offer a Microsoft-centric build of Chrome as an alternative to IE. "Sure, you can have Chrome if you like, no need to go to Google for that".

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> > Chrome potentially hardwiring...
>
> An open source project cannot "hardwire" anything. In a few
> months there are going to be many, many different builds
> of Chrome being distributed.

I think it can... whoever controls the largest distribution (and what I understand to be an automated update cycle every 25 hours in Chrome) can also control a whole lot of what users will be getting. There will always be power users who download special versions of Chrome, who fiddle with their setting details, and who read up on whatever Google might be doing wrong. But for the majority of users I believe that's not the case.

I think this won't be the last time we're talking about this open source thing in relation to Chrome. Whenever someone may criticize Chrome someone else may say, "It's open source, change it if you don't like it." But that won't change what everybody else is using. Perhaps some rare companies like Microsoft, Apple and so on may be the only ones which can quickly roll out their own Chrome version. Well, like you say.

Of course, all this is just theory for now, as Chrome doesn't have any noteworthy marketshare yet (in particularly not among non-power users I suspect).

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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