Cuil vs. Google and the DOJ

My dad emailed me a link to  search upstart Cuil, which I had come across before but never adopted.  It got me thinking about the Obama administration's antitrust hounds barking at GOOG, and now maybe a credible competitor might be important.  But the standard- for being a credible competitor- is really high, I think.

Google's dominance stops when it's not useful, or as fast, as competitors. I think it's doubtful they will lose on speed, but utility is a maybe. Whether the Wolfram Alpha product solves the same problems, or solves some other ones may also affect this determination. 

In the long run, I think Google knows that it's don't be Evil motto really translates into "Don't be useless." 

  • it wouldn't be useful to force users to download Chrome in order to search Google or check their gmail
  • it wouldn't be useful to prevent people from embedding Vimeo videos in their blogspot blogs
  • Google Docs kills Microsoft Office by being Useful for group collaboration
  • Even if Google buys twitter, if they make it less useful, they'll have a problem

If they stick to that, they're probably in good shape.  The DOJ may wonder: is Google's ubiquity anticompetitive?  I think for the bulk of its interaction with the world, Google is just a bunch of nice guys who offer a free utility, or maybe a phone.  For those few (relatively speaking) individuals on this Earth who do some form of business with Google, it can seem like a monolithic, and scary, creature.  It's the latter group who want antitrust scrutiny of Google, not the former.