Could a Google shakedown help domain investors?


This week one of the top stories that isn’t the global pandemic or US elections is the new antitrust lawsuit against Google. Apparently this is a moment Google has been planning for, yet fearing, giving it the nickname “code red” and for good reason, it could be a very big deal for them.

If you don’t know much about what’s going on, here’s a quick summary to get you caught up:

The complaint (PDF) lays out the case that Google used “exclusionary agreements and anticompetitive conduct” to become dominant in the search marketplace, and then kept abusing that market dominance to prevent nascent rivals from gaining enough of a toehold potentially to become real competition.

The suit is focused on Google’s search business, including search advertising and “general search text advertising,” which the DOJ alleges the company has “monopolized” for more than a decade.

(Source – Ars Technica)

First things first, if any company is big enough to really fight an antitrust case, it’s Google, so it’s hard to know if the outcome will really cause any long-term pain for the search giant.

What I’ve been wondering is, will this impact domain investors, and if so, will it be in the positive direction? I think it could, and here’s why.

One of the big changes that dramatically reduced type-in traffic to domain names was the repurposing of the address bar to double as a search engine text entry field. Google is the default search engine on the iPhone so every single person who owns an iPhone and types something into the default browser (Safari) on the iPhone, instantly triggers a Google search.

This antitrust case could change that, and with it, there’s a chance that this could default back to what it was in the past and sending direct navigation traffic back to domains, most likely to .COM.

While I don’t think this is a sure thing by any means, it’s more of a possibility now than it has been, which could be very good news for domain investors. What do you think?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Andrew Hyde October 21, 2020, 7:36 am

    I agree, it could potential be good for domain owners and they are big enough to fend off an antitrust case. What it brings to mind is the breakup of AT&T / Ma Bell into little bells due to their monopoly. Part of the fight against such a giant is going to require technical knowledge and that it’s really uncharted territory. The cases to cite for winning this are few, relatively new and weak in building a solid decision. Interesting to see how this plays out…

  • Mark Thorpe October 21, 2020, 4:53 pm

    A decade+ too late IMO. The MASSIVE damage has already been done.
    Lock them up anyway!

  • George In Miami October 25, 2020, 1:30 pm

    Is about time to take away Google’s monopoly. I can’t stand their arrogance and impunity.


Leave a Comment