Why Google needs to be regulated

Imagine you built a travel business operation, an online one that compares the best hotel deals and airlines, lets users add recos about their experience and ultimately providing consumers with holiday solutions.

The business makes money by selling leads, or reselling airline tickets or hotel accommodations. Or even advertising.

You talk to suppliers to give you good deals, you build a clean valuable product showcasing the content for customers and spend a lot on brand, marketing an differentiation.

Once you have all these in place, you’d probably build the asset’s home page (aka the entry side of your business) as simple as possible. Maybe, say, showing content snippets, adding useful links guiding users to the value points you created for them, and maybe a big search box to help find useful information.

It makes sense, right?

And now once you established this operation and you have some success, imagine that there is somebody else coming up with the same idea as you did. Now, competition is good and healthy but here’s the twist: their implementation involves scrapping all the content from your asset, for which you worked so hard to curate and aggregate, they store it on their servers and put their own search box and useful links as a mean to front their own business model which btw is exactly like yours and targeting the very same customers.

You would be pissed, wouldn’t you? Somebody else takes advantage of your work and makes business off your back. And you don’t get a dime out of it.

The name of this somebody is Google, which is by far the biggest data scrapper in the world, taking the content properties from others in the name of good SEO and usability for users and putting its own business model on top of that.

The search box, the maps, the assistant et all are just free tech products fronting off the content scrapped from other people’s assets. Those free products are just like another home page for your asset. But for Google’s benefit.

Combined with analytics and the ad business + chrome and android they form the today’s internet monopoly, probably one of the most powerful in the economic history. This is Google in a nutshell - scrapped content fronted by nice free products and a powerful ad machine on top.

That is why the Germans, and not only, are so pissed at them and are filling a cartel complaint against Google at EU, accusing them of stealing content and data.

And that is why Google needs to be regulated pronto.

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