And these companies (mainly Google) with these dominant market positions in this critical area to push their own products in front of others’. That seems anticompetitive on its face.

John Gapper:

But we get back to the problem that the sole arbiter of what is best for the Google user is Google, which gives it immense market power.

This is reminiscent of the EU case against Microsoft in the 1990s. Whether or not Google is actually doing anything that qualifies as an an infringement of competition law remains to be seen, but it looks at least worth examining.

Indeed.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.