Recent Issues for Competition on the Internet: Google's Search and Advertising, the Apple App Store, and the AOL Huffington Post Merger
12 Pages Posted: 25 May 2011
Date Written: May 9, 2011
This paper will examine three recent instances involving competition concerns on the Internet. The Internet at its inception was widely viewed as not suffering from any competition concerns, however in the last ten years, with on the one hand the emergence of major Internet corporations, and on the other the recognition of the Internet as an important trading platform for offline corporations and their subsequent use of the medium, the issue of anticompetitive behaviour by such entities has reared its head. The three instances involving competition concerns that this paper will consider are: the progress of the European Commission’s antitrust investigation into Google for alleged anticompetitive behaviour in the markets for online search and advertising; the situation with Apple’s App Store and the ability of developers to create applications for its devices (i.e. the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch); and the circumstances surrounding the merger between popular blog the Huffington Post and Internet giant AOL and any implications this may have for concentration and media plurality on the Internet. The legal and regulatory responses so far to these scenarios will be examined, along with an analysis of whether there are legitimate competition and regulatory concerns, and the extent to which they are being addressed by the appropriate authorities. Finally, based on this consideration, a determination on whether any further action should be taken to safeguard competition in these parts of the Internet will be made.
Keywords: Internet, competition, antitrust, Google, Apple, AOL, Huffington Post, concentration, plurality, regulation
JEL Classification: K21, K42, L41, L86, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation