Chrome is not an Internet Browser and not open, but closed to the Internet’s Domain Name System

December 18, 2009

Since the EU-Microsoft settlement now will allow users to select an Internet browser from Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and Opera among others, the next relevant competitive issue with browsers is if the browsers themselvesa are operating clandestinely in an anti-competitive or closed way.

  • In other words, whether or not browsers are non-neutral and divert the user somewhere against the user’s expressed choice.

As I have discussed before, Google’s Chrome is not an Internet browser, but a gateway to Google’s datacenter to browse Google’s mirror copy of the Internet and track the user’s every movement.

  • Specifically, Google’s Chrome browser effectively eliminates the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) address bar where a user can directly go to the URL and to the “open Internet” content/application of their choice, and replaces it with Google’s “OmniBox,” which is just a fancy rhetorical sleight of hand for Google’s search bar.
    • This is particularly troublesome because users are increasingly typing in URLs in order to more efficiently go where they want to go.

The import of this is that Google has been the most vocal corporate proponent for net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet regulation of competitive broadband companies without market power, when Google, with a search advertising monopoly per the DOJ, is not neutral, and is now leveraging its search advertising monopoly into browsers and cloud computing by creating its own clever technological version of a first landing page “walled garden” — that they claim to oppose.

  • When one puts a URL, www.brand.com, into Google’s OmniBox search bar they do not go where they asked to go but to Google’s results page where Google can advertise against that brand without sharing the ad revenues with that brand, and where Google can offer competitors an opportunity to divert the user from their requested destination and to a competitor’s destination.
  • This technological misdirection, misrepresentation, and duplicity can only happen in Google’s “walled garden” on a first landing page, where Google gets a unique opportunity to skim off the fruits of others.
  • This is neither neutral nor how a supposedly “Open Internet” (as Google and the FCC define it) should operate. 

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