Perhaps the EU needs more money for all the upcoming bailouts, but I suspect there is something more sinister about their latest probes into Google’s practices. Mainly I fear that if a non-manufacturing (i.e. factory jobs) company has a market cap larger than the GDP of many of their nations, it automatically becomes a target. The EU Antitrust website laughably displays a banner across the top stating “Making markets work better”. What they fundamentally fail to understand is that large monopolies cannot survive in a Free Market but only in the case where they receive direct government assistance either through mandates or regulation. Instead of helping markets, they do quite the opposite by raising the barrier to entry into the market by smaller aggressive companies, who would otherwise capture market share and force innovation and lower prices for the end consumers.
Especially in the case of technology and internet companies such as Microsoft and Google, whatever status they have as the top dog in a particular domain (i.e. desktops, web search) is only maintained as they consistently provide better products. Bill Gates is quoted as saying “Intellectual Property has the shelf-life of a banana” and his former company is keenly aware that better ideas are always around the corner. Sure they can “buy up the competition” but how do you stop the next Facebook built out of a college dorm from eating out of your profits?