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Google, “our” God?

 |  November 28, 2018

When grappling with competition issues in the digital economy, Google is often the first name to come up.

The tech powerhouse has been in the firing line of competition authorities in Europe. Its business model and strategies have sparked intense debate about what big data and big analytics mean for competition and how or even whether antitrust enforcers should respond.

And, yet, for users who share their most intimate details with the search engine, Google has been equated with a “modern-day God”.

In this episode of Competition Lore, I am delighted to share the opportunity that I had to discuss these and related issues with Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian.

Hal was not only generous with his time but with his views ranging from general topics such as the role of economics and populism in antitrust to specific issues raised by the European Commission’s decisions against in the Shopping and Android cases.

Aside from setting up the interview, Google had no other input to the production of this episode.

Hal hinted in the episode at a second edition of his co-authored best-selling book; let’s hope we can hold him to that!  But if you want to read the first edition, it is Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy.

The episode features an interjection from Professor Scott Galloway with his thesis that Google is a “modern day God”. You may find his book, The Four, of interest or you could listen to his TED Talk.

Or, if you’re one of those who likes to contemplate whether there is “life after Google”, then you should read the book by George Gilder, Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and Rise of the Blockchain Economy, also referred to in the episode. Or you could just watch this on Youtube.

Featuring regular cut-through interviews with leading thinkers, movers and shakers, Competition Lore is a podcast series that engages us all in a debate about the transformative potential and risks of digitalised competition.

Join Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, to tackle what it means to participate as a competitor, consumer or citizen in a digital economy and society.

Competition Lore is produced by Written & Recorded.