Google Is Already the New Microsoft

When did Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) become the enemy?

Vitriol and resources once aimed at taking inches from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) are increasingly being aimed at the search king. Consider:

  • Last week, well-heeled French influencers produced a report that asks their government to tax Google's ad revenue and shift the proceeds to suffering content producers in the music, film, and publishing industries. At issue, apparently, is Google's "enrichment without end and compensation."
  • Then, earlier today, Europe's Sophos, a digital security company whose software competes with Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC  ) and McAfee (NYSE: MFE  ) , identified a piece of malicious software in the Android Market called "Droid09." The program represents itself as a mobile banking app even as it steals passwords, the UK's PC Advisor reports.

Microsoft investors will recognize these as old themes. The French join News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS  ) CEO Rupert Murdoch in accusing Google of using technology to exert an unfair market advantage (read: monopolist), all while hackers exert retribution by targeting The Big G's increasingly popular smartphone platform (read: target).

Color me both worried and thrilled. Worried, because Microsoft has experienced a slow and steady decline since it was first identified as a target by hackers and authorities in the '90s. Thrilled, because Mr. Softy is still one of the world's most important businesses.

But I'd also argue that Google hasn't reached its apex. The search king is barely 10 years old. Android is still new. Search advertising is proven, but mobile advertising is still nascent. And old advertising models, for as much as they are under assault, remain the go-to for CBS (NYSE: CBS  ) , Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) , and other media conglomerates. Here, regulators and hackers are files on the back of the bull, and the bull's horns are still sharp.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do these attacks on Google signal the beginning of the end for The Big G, or are they evidence of a market monster on an eating binge? Share your perspective using the comments box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Microsoft and Symantec are Inside Value picks. Motley Fool Options recommends a diagonal call on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers owned shares of Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is searching for answers.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (6)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 11, 2010, at 3:58 PM, techinsider7 wrote:

    Google is undoubtedly the new Evil Empire - they even make MSFT look tame by comparison. Let's see - there is their ongoing Google Books debacle (attempting to circumvent copyright laws to their advantage), their long-time online search/ad monopoly, a policy to permantently track everything you do online while invading your privacy (Google searches, gmail, and payments), and their taking advantage of all of their Android partners through plain old deception. Andy Rubin, their Android engineering director, claimed only about two months ago that Google would not sell its own handsets - two months later, they introduce their Nexus One handset. Nothing better than using your partners to get a start in a market, and leaving them to make second-class phones! Google is making serious enemies in numerous industries (and I didn't even mention the media, content providers, and comm. service providers)...

  • Report this Comment On January 11, 2010, at 4:27 PM, eltoro2827 wrote:

    @techinsder7.... Wow, coulndt have said it any better.

  • Report this Comment On January 11, 2010, at 5:58 PM, mhonarvar wrote:

    As soon as I heard about their now famous "don't be evil" statement - I knew something was up.

  • Report this Comment On January 11, 2010, at 10:24 PM, militauro wrote:

    When it involves companies, they're on top of it when they're on the short end of the stick. However, try taxing their salaries to help out the less fortunate who make less and they talk like it's a crime.

    At least Google offers us good services for free and is working to make things free for the consumer. They might be making enemies, but I've got to love a company who appears to be pro-consumer. Giant corporations like News Corp. who are trying to have us pay for news getting it from Google? Keep it coming :)

    I wish you weren't so expensive Google, otherwise I'd be a buyer!!!

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