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Monopoly Media
By Ed Driscoll · January 14, 2007 03:26 PM · The Future and its Enemies

Steve Frank wants to end monopoly cable in Simi Valley; Matt Sherman points out the dangers of a monopoly search engine (whose unusual job interview and hiring practices was the subject of a recent piece in England's Register).

In both cases, the free market is the best solution: satellite TV is a terrific way to end-run crappy cable service, and as Matt writes:

To be clear, I think Google should have 100% freedom (as they do now) to determine how sites appear on Google, and I think AT&T (and Verizon and Comcast and Sprint and Global Crossing) should have the same freedom to determine how data flows over their pipes. The consumer will make the call and direct their business accordingly.

The idea of telling Google how to run their search engine in the interest of "neutrality" is absurd, no? And yet neutrality advocates are making precisely that argument against companies that have much less influence than Google.

It is not a coincidence that Google is a big supporter of network neutrality regulation. It is in their financial interest to do so. They control a disproportionate share of the Internet user's experience, and they want to keep it that way.

I think most people would agree that regulating Google would not be in consumers' interests. If we want to continue development a free and rapidly evolving Internet -- from the physical network to information brokers like Google -- let's not tell the companies that comprise it how to do business.

Glenn Reynolds adds that this is yet another reason "to use multi-engine search services like Dogpile.com".

Update: Great quote concerning Google here:

To paraphrase an old comment about IBM, made during its 30 year dominance of the enterprise mainframe market, Google is not your competition, Google is the environment.
Read the whole thing.

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