Search Engines, the New Bottleneck for Content Access

TELECOMMUNICATION MARKETS, DRIVERS AND IMPEDIMENTS, pp. 141-157, B. Preissl, J. Haucap, P. Curwen, eds., Springer, 2009

17 Pages Posted: 18 May 2010  

N.A.N.M. van Eijk

Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Date Written: May 17, 2010

Abstract

The core function of a search engine is to make content and sources of information easily accessible (although the search results themselves may actually include parts of the underlying information). In an environment with unlimited amounts of information available on open platforms such as the internet, the availability or accessibility of content is no longer a major issue. The real question is how to find the information. Search engines are becoming the most important gateway used to find content: research shows that the average user considers them to be the most important intermediary in their search for content. They also believe that search engines are reliable. The high social impact of search engines is now evident. This contribution discusses the functionality of search engines and their underlying business model – which is changing to include the aggregation of content as well as access to it, hence making search engines a new player on the content market. The biased structure of and manipulation by search engines is also explored. The regulatory environment is assessed – at present, search engines largely fall outside the scope of (tele)communications regulation – and possible remedies are proposed.

Keywords: search enigines, law, telecommunications

JEL Classification: n/a

Suggested Citation

van Eijk, N.A.N.M., Search Engines, the New Bottleneck for Content Access (May 17, 2010). TELECOMMUNICATION MARKETS, DRIVERS AND IMPEDIMENTS, pp. 141-157, B. Preissl, J. Haucap, P. Curwen, eds., Springer, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1609850

N.A.N.M. Van Eijk (Contact Author)

Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Postbus 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivir.nl/medewerkerpagina/eijk

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