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BLOG: Are Google and Apple really 'monopolies'?

Mike Elgan | Jan. 31, 2012
You hear the word "monopoly" thrown around a lot these days, especially about Google and Apple.

According to my own reasoning, neither Google nor Apple should be considered a monopoly or even monopolistic.

But I'm not in the FTC. And I'm not a judge. Such determinations are at least partly governed by politics, public opinion, the influence of competitors and other factors that have little to do with law, facts or reason.

Some court may declare at some point that one or both of these companies are monopolistic enough to require government "remedies."

The important fact, however, is that such a ruling has not been reached. Google is merely being investigated. And Apple is merely being accused. No official or legal conclusion on this question has been reached.

So if the material facts match the definition of monopoly, then you can say Google or Apple are monopolies. But they don't, so you can't.

Or if a government agency or judge declares either of these companies a monopoly, then you can call them that. But they haven't, so you can't.

So as far as I can tell, charges of Google or Apple being monopolies, monopolistic or wielding monopoly power are simply false. And those who use the M word about these companies are misleading you.




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