Washington is thinking about bringing an antitrust case against Google.
Right now, at this very moment, the search market is peaking and will likely decline, as the shift to mobile upends the dynamics on which Google built its dominance.
(Yes, consumers will continue to search on the Web and advertisers will continue to spend billions of dollars on search ads, but that behaviour will be less and less of the dominant factor in the Internet economy than it was over the past decade.)
Companies like Yelp, which once feared Google, now feel like they have a chance to thrive in Apple’s app economy, where search is less of a factor.
Apple is taking most of the profits in the smartphone business, leaving Google’s hardware partners (and its Motorola subsidiary) in a weak position.
And Amazon—the company Google really fears—has stealthily staked out a position in e-commerce search, which is where Google makes most of its money.
It’s a replay of the ’90s, when the government brought an antitrust case against Microsoft at the exact moment when the Internet was making Microsoft’s desktop monopoly irrelevant.