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《经济学人》:谷歌的敌人

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Regulating the internet
监管互联网

Google's enemies
谷歌的敌人

The search giant’s antitrust headache gets bigger
搜索巨头的反垄断之困日渐增大

Jun 30th 2011 | SAN FRANCISCO | from the print edition

SINCE the start of this year, Google’s share price has fallen steadily as investors have begun to fret about its longer-term prospects. Now they have another reason to worry. On June 24th the company revealed that America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had opened a broad investigation into its online-search and online-advertising businesses to see if it has abused its dominant position. Some pundits predict that the trustbusters’ tussle with Google could turn as bloody as their battle with Microsoft in the 1990s.
自今年初以来,由于投资者开始对谷歌发展远景感到担忧,其股价稳步下跌。如今他们又有了新的担忧理由,该公司在6月24日透露,美国联邦贸易委员会为确定谷歌是否滥用了主导地位,对其在线搜索和在线广告业务展开了广泛调查。一些专家预测,联邦反托拉斯检察官与谷歌的角力可能会变得非常残酷,其激烈程度可能与1990年代对决微软不相上下。

The regulators’ move comes at an awkward time for Google, which faces a growing threat from Facebook, the world’s biggest social network. Facebook aims to supplant Google as the main conduit via which people access the web. On June 28th Google hit back, unveiling Google+, a social-network platform to rival Facebook.
世界最大的社交网络Facebook意欲取代谷歌成为人们上网的主要媒介,对谷歌的威胁与日俱增,可是恰在此时监管者又对谷歌展开了行动。在6月28日,谷歌还以颜色,发布了社交网路平台Google+,以与Facebook一争高下。

Google’s new offering, which is still in trial form, boasts some handy features. It makes it easy to set up separate groups, thus sparing your boss from seeing your semi-clothed and inebriated party snaps. It also lets up to ten people hold a video chat together. But this will probably not be enough to get people to abandon Facebook, which benefits from a powerful network effect: people join it because most of their friends already have.
谷歌的新产品(仍处在测试阶段)具有一些方便的功能。它让创建不同的群变得容易,因此
不会让你的老板看到你的半裸和醉态熏熏的派对快照,同时它最多还能容纳十个人在一起视频聊天。但Facebook从强大的网络效应受益良多,这可能也不足以让人们割舍它:人们加入Facebook是因为他们大多数的朋友已经加入。

Still, Google’s determination to keep innovating has served it well in its core business of search, where it commands nearly two-thirds of the market in America and an even higher share elsewhere (see chart). It is this dominance that has attracted regulators’ attention in America and abroad. Last November the European Commission announced a similarly sweeping review of Google’s operations.
然而,谷歌不断创新的决心对其核心搜索业务帮助很大,在这项业务上谷歌几乎占据美国市场的三分之二,而在其他地区甚至拥有更高份额(见图表)。正是这种优势地位吸引了美国和海外监管者的注意。去年十一月,欧盟委员会宣布对谷歌的业务展开类似的全面调查。

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