The problem with monopolists, of course, is that they just can’t help acting like monopolists, even supposedly benign monopolists like Google and even when they are not consciously trying to rub out the competition. They are always right and everybody else is wrong. They have disdain for their own customers, knowing those customers have nowhere else to turn. They tell small fry like Mr. Savage to stop bugging them.
That is how Microsoft acted a decade ago, and that, increasingly, is how Google is acting. Half the time, the company doesn’t even realize how egregious its behavior has become, which is why it feels so misunderstood when it is criticized.
Maybe Mr. Savage’s experience proves that Google has become a company that abuses its monopoly power, and maybe it doesn’t. He is just one small example, and as Google likes to point out, thousands of advertisers are thriving using AdWords and AdSense.
But his story gave me pause, and nothing Google said in its defense defused my alarm. As Mr. Litvack reviews the Google-Yahoo deal, I hope it gives him pause as well.
It could be déjà vu all over again.
Excellent read also as a lens into Google's customer (dis)service.