The Justice Department has filed its long-expected antitrust lawsuit against Google. The antitrust suit alleges, as they all do, that Google abuses its market dominance to the detriment of smaller rivals.
On the one hand, this is an open and shut case. Google is clearly a market monopoly based on any real percentage of users, and there is no real competitor with anything resembling a noticeable market share.
On the other hand, it isn’t really Google’s fault that it is the only search engine left. Yahoo, sold its search business to Microsoft following a greenmail attack from an “activist shareholder.” Microsoft itself spends untold millions to build and promote its Bing search engine, it’s just that the company was too late and now everyone is just used to Google for everything.
I’ve been experimenting with the Duck Duck Go search engine, but it clearly isn’t funded at Google’s level. Again, that isn’t Google’s fault.
Google Stock and the Monopoly Lawsuit
How does the antitrust lawsuit affect Google’s stock?
Sure, traders will push the price up and down over events in the courtroom that seem to go for or against the company, but the reality is that a judgement, if one ever comes, is decades away. By then, times will have changed and any deserved improvement or decline in Google’s stock price will come as a result of that decade of events, not the government’s lawsuit.
That isn’t to say that nothing will happen to Google.
When the government went after Microsoft all those years ago, the settlement seemed inconsequential to the company, only to end up being handcuffs that prevented the company from bundling itself to in house hardware, or other projects the way Apple did.
Only recently have we seen products like the Microsoft Surface appear in the marketplace.
But, any such consequences are years away for Google.
In the meantime, long-term investors in Google have nothing to fear from the government’s lawsuit, which may, or may not, continue as administrations change over time.
It really is a good lawsuit, but the courts in America don’t work that way. There isn’t some agency or commission like the ones in Europe than make this happen quickly. Discovery itself will take years with each step contested along the way. Google has plenty of money for lawyers, and will use it. There is not reason not to.
By the time any consequences arise, Google’s fortunes will have long since been affected more by the passing of time and the arrival of new technologies or services that we aren’t even thinking of now.
See my Acorns review
When the antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft was first filed in 1998, the first iPhone was years away. It was this new platform and technology that no one at the time could even imagine that would change Microsoft’s fortunes. A few years later, the arrival of the Chromebook after Microsoft’s boneheaded decision to kill the Netbook market would really level the field.
The advent of cloud computing, led by Amazon would further eliminate Microsoft’s monopoly.
None of these things had anything to do with the government’s antitrust suit or the settlement. Whatever levels the field against Google probably won’t even be a new search engine. It will be something else, that no one is probably thinking of yet… but it’s coming. Keep and eye on THAT if you want to know about Google’s fortunes for your investments.