Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon's whims are coming to an end! The US Congress has taken a tough step

Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon's whims are coming to an end! The US Congress has taken a tough step

In the US House of Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans have introduced five bills. If the said bills are passed, the alleged arbitrariness of big technology companies will be curtailed.

After a 16-month investigation into major companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook, a five-member bill was introduced in the US Congress.

The purpose of these five bills is to limit the power of these five giant technology companies.

The bills are said to be related to data management, competition promotion, and the purchase of other companies.

The bill was drafted by lawmakers from both Republicans and Democrats. However, it may take some time for these bills to reach a consensus and become law.

Arbitrariness and fines

Last Monday, France imposed a large fine on Google. This has again raised questions about the policies of world-class technology companies.

Governments around the world are cracking down on Google, the world's most widely used Internet search engine. Facebook, Apple, and Amazon are also facing various government issues and strong opposition.

In October last year, the US Department of Justice and various states filed a lawsuit against Google for monopolizing it. Google has been accused of violating anti-trust laws.

In December 2020, the federal government, including 46 US states, filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging monopoly and anti-competition activities. Facebook has been taken to court before, but the case is considered the most serious against Facebook.

A similar complaint was filed against Google in India last year. The Competition Commission of India is investigating Google based on a complaint by two lawyers. The lawsuit alleges that Google abused its grip on the smart television operating system.

In February, Australia legally forced companies such as Google and Facebook to pay for the use of the country's media content.

An Indian Supreme Court lawyer has told the BBC that technology giants such as Google, Apple, and Facebook have gained a monopoly on most sectors of the economy, including e-commerce, media, advertising, and the retail market, through large amounts of data collected from several companies. Reports from the FTC in the US and the relevant authorities in Australia, Europe, and India confirm the monopolistic attitude of these companies.

According to experts, allowing large technology companies to operate in their countries for long periods of time without any research has led to problems such as loss of privacy, excessive advertising, and bad products. Apple's devices have to be bought at a higher price, while Facebook and Google have already made the product for their users.

This week, France imposed a multimillion-dollar fine on Google and acknowledged the fine. Google has agreed to change some of its widely used online advertising services through an unprecedented agreement with France's Anti-Trust Authority.

France has fined Google 260 million for misusing its market power in the complex online advertising business and forcing major publishers to follow Google.

This is the second blow to Google this year. Earlier, in February, Australia passed a new law giving the first blow. Under the new law, companies such as Google and Facebook will have to pay a fee for using media companies' content on their platforms.

Following the law, Facebook initially shut down news services in Australia and Google threatened to leave the country. But in the end, the two companies were forced to comply with new Australian law and agreed to pay a fee to Australian news agencies.

Search system ahead of Google

Until three years ago, no one knew that search on the Internet was a multi-billion dollar world trade.

In the old days when search engines like Netscape and AOL were used for slow internet speeds, no one could have guessed about Google's current multi-billion dollar world trade.

In September 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Byrne launched Google to make their dream of bigger market reality, and in a few years, the Internet would be hard to imagine without Google. At the same time, Google has stepped into every field related to internet search and started making huge profits. Google has a monopoly on the Internet search business.

In November 2006, Google bought YouTube, the largest video site. Google not only stepped into every field like advertising, marketing, travel, food, music, and media but also used the data from users in those fields to grow its business.

How does Google do business?

According to experts, Google's business model is based on the personal data of billions of users who search online, watch videos on YouTube, use digital maps, talk to its voice assistants and use its phone software.

That user data help drive Google's advertising machine that has transformed Google into a giant company. That is, Google's data analytics system knows what kind of ads a user sees, which increases the likelihood that they will buy the advertised product.

Google Chrome now dominates not only search but also the Internet browser market with a 69 percent share. This means that even if you are not doing any search on Google, Gmail, Chrome or any other way is within the scope of Google and your data is being collected by Google.

On the other hand, the market share of Microsoft's Internet Explorer has been limited to 5 percent and the company has already announced that it will close this browser. Internet Explorer will be closed from June 15 next year.

Google's alleged monopoly journey

Since its inception in 1998, Google has acquired dozens of smaller companies. As a result, Google has a 90 percent share of the US Internet search market.

The lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, alleges that Google's acquisition of other companies is one of the reasons Google has become a non-competitive search engine in the world.

Here are some of Google's purchase deals:

In 2005, Google bought Android for only 50 million. It is considered to be the most important and cheapest deal in the digital world. This purchase agreement proved to be a game-changer for Google. Currently, 70 percent of the world's smartphones have the Android operating system, in which the Google search engine is already installed.

In 2007, Google bought DoubleClick for 3.1 billion. Following the acquisition, Google expanded into the realm of digital advertising. Remember that at that time Google was 7 times smaller than Yahoo.

In 2010, Google purchased ITA software. At 700 million. After the purchase, Google became a major player in travel search and bookings.

Google's argument

Perhaps no other buyer has benefited as much as the acquisition of the Android operating system has helped Google expand and maintain its monopoly. Currently, only Google is available from Android phone search. So the US administration has accused it of monopolizing trade.

But Google denies the allegations. Google argues: People use Google of their own free will. No one is forced to use Google. It's not that people don't have an alternative to Google.

Google claims that there are flaws in the lawsuits and arguments against it.

According to experts, the claims of big companies including Google that they are providing free services and have not maintained any monopoly are completely wrong. Just as governments levy direct and indirect taxes from their people, these big technology companies are making money from their millions of users without their knowledge. More than 3 billion Internet users around the world are auctioning off their products every day in the international market.

Both Apple and Google charge up to 30 percent for app purchases from their App Store. They argue that the fee is reasonable to protect the user.

According to the US Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play Store are in competition. Both stores do not block or suppress apps that compete with Google or Apple.

According to app developers, due to lack of competition, Apple and Google are forcibly charging. Apple has also been accused of using its App Store to overtake rivals.

Can Facebook break down?

However, no one has the answer to this question now. However, such talk was heard during the tenure of former US President Donald Trump and this debate is still going on.

Facebook has banned Trump's account for two years. Last December, the Trump administration, including 46 states, filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging monopoly and anti-competition practices.

In the current case, a serious allegation has been made against Facebook. Facebook has been accused of illegally maintaining a monopoly power by implementing a buy-and-die strategy, eliminating the possibility of competition and harming users and advertisers.

An example of how Facebook can stifle competition comes from an official 2012 email from its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, which has now gone public.

In the email, Zuckerberg wrote: "I am currently brainstorming on a business question. How much do we have to pay to acquire mobile app companies like Instagram and Path, which have built competitive networks and are in the early stages of business? Although their business is in its infancy, it has an established network. Brands are already established and if they are developed on a large scale, they will be very detrimental to us.

Facebook bought Instagram for अर्ब 1 billion and WhatsApp for अर्ब 19 billion two years later.

A lawsuit filed by 46 US states has called for the cancellation of Facebook's agreement to buy Instagram and WhatsApp. If the court agrees to the lawsuit, Facebook will have to improve its approach. WhatsApp and Instagram may have to be sold. It will also be difficult to buy other companies in the future.