The move was something that I expected, but I don’t think anybody expected the integration to be so massive. You can’t browse Google without seeing Google+ everywhere.
The problem is simple: Google is using its monopoly in search to direct people to its social network. Lots of people are comparing it to when Microsoft used Windows to boost Internet Explorer, effectively killing Netscape.
I don’t think all of the parallels are there — it’s far easier to switch search engines than switch operating systems. However, the question is valid: has Google abused its monopoly to thwart its competitors in social networking?
Google was clearly unprepared for the backlash. Eric Schmidt’s odd interview with Danny Sullivan makes it clear that Google hasn’t prepared a real defense against the antitrust allegations.
This is something the government is going to investigate. I wouldn’t want to be Google’s legal department right now.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Kainr