Nearly every business worth more than a penny has some competition. It might be the store next door, or the other manufacturing plant across town, or some factory in a distant country, but competition exists.
So do monopolies.
A market situation where one producer (or a group of producers acting in concert) controls supply of a good or service, and where the entry of new producers is prevented or highly restricted.
Is Google’s search engine business a monopoly? Yes. Is Apple’s iPhone or iPad or Mac business a monopoly? No. Google claims its search business has plenty of competition. Is that true?
Yes. But only plenty in terms of those that compete, not how well they compete.
In our core search business, consumers can choose among a range of options: Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and many more,” Cohen said. “Specialized search services are strong competitors, too, including companies like Amazon, eBay, Kayak, Travelocity, Yelp, and others.
What percent of the world’s search engine business belongs to Google?
That sounds like a monopoly to me. Google has plenty of competitors, but none of them are viable– relative to Google’s marketshare.
Ipso facto and alakazam. Google does not have much competition.
What about Apple?
Marketshare tells the tale because iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch, AirPods, Beats headphones, and other labeled products have enormous competition; Apple’s unit sales are less than combined competitors in every category.
What about the iPhone App Store? Monopoly? Yes.
For the most part, the App Store is the only location to buy applications for iPhone and iPad and remains a single source. But in this case the monopoly works more like the only grocery store in town except Apple does not dictate app prices (the vast majority are free) and merely takes a percentage of the price as a commission to store and distribute the apps.
Is the App Store an illegal monopoly? No. Does the App Store abuse its monopoly power? No.
The Google as monopoly argument can be made against Facebook as the owner of social media with dominant numbers of users. Amazon is the online version of a retail monopoly. Is it any wonder why congress wants to get involved?
Politicians need horses to beat in the public square but one has to wonder why Apple is one of the horses.