The problem with regulating technology companies is that, faced with tough new rules, they can eventually innovate their way out, often by switching to newer, unregulated technologies.
The risk of targeted regulation informed by little other than economic doctrines might even be fuelling a corporate quest for eternal disruption: instead of surrendering to the regulators, technology firms prefer to abandon their old business model.
It arrives after a lengthy, seven-year investigation into whether the company abused its dominance to promote its own online shopping service above search results.
The commission’s case seems sound; the sad fate of small online retailers, unable to compete with Alphabet over the past decade, suggests as much.
Alphabet’s future revolves around information-intensive services, not around running matchmaking platforms for advertising.
That data trove allows Alphabet to predict our information needs in a way that does not always require us to type in a search query.