Saturday, August 2, 2014

Google Disappers as Part of Microsoft Update

If you own a Windows Phone 8.1 device, once you install the GDR1 update, the new software update removes all search options except for Bing, according to documentation for the update.

For all the attention paid to Internet services providers "not treating all apps equally," how about app providers and operating system providers? Facebook has blocked rival apps, for example.

Nor are the ISPs, necessarily bigger financial actors than app providers, and therefore a bigger threat to use of lawfual apps or exercise of market power.

AT&T’s market capitalization now is about $184.8 billion to Facebook’s $188.9 billion.

There always are gatekeepers in communications, content and information businesses, retailing, transportation and logistics, to name only a few industries. But relative ability to act as a gatekeeper changes over time.

For decades, executives debated whether "content or distribution was king." Depending on the decade, the answers have varied, sometimes favoring distributors and sometimes content providers. 

These days, new actors have appeared. 

In fact, some would argue, the new gatekeepers are the platform owners — companies like Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and even Spotify, the companies that shape information availability and access

One might note that European Union antitrust officials have been investigating and challenging both Microsoft and Google for years. 

One doesn't have to agree with many of these complaints or actions to observe, empirically, that gatekeepers in any market can, and do exist. But the key gatekeepers can change over time. 

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