Tag: Google

Nokia is finding out just how competitive the phone industry is, as it sees its third quarter figures come in at a loss. Google and Apple have seen their market shares rise and this has had an adverse effect on the Finnish company, Nokia. This goes some way to backing up the job losses seen earlier in the year, when 7000 jobs were cut and there was a re-allocation of workers towards ‘smartphones’.

Despite Nokia’s disappointing results in this sector, it has seen growth in its sales of other more simple phones, illustrating its ability to focus on this aspect of the market. Its sales were higher than forecast at 107 million handsets in the third quarter, showing some signs of a changing trend for the firm. However, with competition ever increasing, Nokia will need to consider its future strategy very carefully.

Nokia reports lower-than-estimated loss as profit forecast for phone unit Bloomberg, Diana Ben-Aaron (20/10/11)
Nokia swings to loss in third quarter BBC News (20/10/11)
Nokia boosted by sales of cheap handsets Financial Times, Daniel Thomas (20/10/11)
Nokia beats forecasts with sales of 107m phones Guardian, Juliette Garside and Charles Arthur (20/10/11)
Nokia prepares for ‘solid’ windows phone launch Telegraph, Matt Warman (25/10/11)

Questions

  1. How would you describe Nokia’s strategy of focusing on cheaper and simpler phones?
  2. Would you say Nokia’s strategy is sensible? What factors will determine its success?
  3. How have Apple and Google managed to expand their market share and become serious competitors to firms like Nokia?
  4. Into which market structure would you classify the phone industry?

Apple and Google: two well known brands that appear everywhere, but which is the most valuable? For the past few years, the answer to that question has been Google, but with recent product developments, including the iPad, Apple has overtaken Google to become the world’s most valuable brand. This information comes from a recent study by Millward Brown, which found that Apple’s brand is now worth some £94 billion ($153.3bn), which is up about 84% on the previous year.

The study showed that of the top 10 brands, 6 were technology and telecoms companies, which is further evidence of the move towards the technology-based economy. Another interesting trend to come out of the report is the development of the emerging markets, with 6 more companies coming from emerging economies compared to last year. Indeed 12 of the top global companies came from China. Besides Google and Apple, who occupy the top 2 places, other companies in the top 10 include Coca-cola, McDonalds, IBM, Microsoft and General Electric. The following articles look at this overtaking move by Apple.

Apple brand value at $153 billion overtakes Google for top spot Bloomberg, Tim Culpan (9/5/11)
Jobs well done: Apple overtakes Google as the world’s most valuable brand Daily Mail (9/5/11)
Apple overtakes Google as top brand: Study Market Watch, Dan Gallagher (9/5/11)
Success of iPad helps Apple topple Google as No 1 brand Independent, Stephen Foley (10/5/11)
Apple overtakes Google as world’s ‘most valuable’ brand Telegraph (9/5/11)

Questions

  1. How reliable is this study and how is the value of a brand measured?
  2. What factors have contributed to Apple’s climb up the tables? Is it because of Apple’s good work or problems faced by Google?
  3. What are the main trends to come out of the study?
  4. What might explain the growing presence of fast food companies in the top 100?
  5. Why is there a growing presence of companies from emerging markets in the top 100?
  6. Should Google be concerned about this report and what could be done to reverse the situation next year?

There has been an ongoing battle between Microsoft and Google for many years in the technology industry. Microsoft have received many fines in countless anti-trust cases, but Microsoft has now taken the upper hand in the most recent development, after filing its first official complaint with the regulators against Google. Microsoft is claiming that Google’s actions are restricting competition in the market and thereby abusing its dominant position. This complaint follows numerous complaints by small businesses. Microsoft’s Brad Smith said that they had been forced to act because of a:

“broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative”.

Google controls approximately 95% of the European search engine market and complaints have focused on actions that Google have taken to restrict competition, further its dominance in the market and thereby harm consumers. The European Commission is already investigating Google and will continue to discuss the case with all parties involved.

Microsoft takes on Google with antitrust complaint Guardian, Mark Sweney (31/3/11)
Minnow Microsoft v the Google giant BBC News Blog, Rory Cellan-Jones (31/3/11)
Adding our voice to concerns about search in Europe Microsoft Blog, Brad Smith (30/3/11)
Microsoft accuses Google of antitrust violations CNN Money, David Goldman (31/3/11)

Questions

  1. What constitutes a dominant position? In what forms can a firm abuse its dominant position?
  2. What is the purpose of anti-trust laws and competition policy?
  3. To what extent are Google’s actions against consumer’s interests?
  4. What anti-competitive practices have Google been accused of? Explain how each is against consumer’s interests and against the interests of its competitors.
  5. What are (a) the arguments for keeping interest rates at 0.5% and (b) the arguments for raising interest rates? Who wins and loses in each case?

Everyone knows about ‘Google’ – a search engine. But, if you’ve happened to google ‘Google’ recently, you’ll be aware that it is being investigated by the European Commission, following claims by other search engines that it is abusing its dominant position.

It is not against the law to have a monopoly, but anti-trust legislation does make it illegal to abuse that dominant position. Those making the complaints argue that Google manipulates its search results and puts competing services further down the page whenever you search for something. The investigation has been launched following:

“complaints by search service providers about unfavourable treatment of their services in Google’s unpaid and sponsored search results coupled with an alleged preferential placement of Google’s own services.”

Google operates two services: unpaid results and ads. The investigation will aim to see whether the method that Google uses to generate unpaid results is to the detriment of its competitors. The following articles look at this issue.

EU to launch Google search investigation Guardian, Mark Sweney (30/11/10)
EU launches antitrust probe into alleged Google abuse BBC News (30/11/10)
EU launches investigation into allegations that Google abuses its dominance of internet search Telegraph, Rupert Neate (30/11/10)
Google faces European Competition Inquiry BBC News (24/02/10)
EU launches Google investigation after complaints Reuters (30/11/10)

Questions

  1. What are the characteristics of a monopoly? Why is it argued to be against the consumer’s interest?
  2. To what extent does Google have a monopoly over internet searches?
  3. What is the purpose of the investigation into Google? If Google is found guilty of ‘abusing its dominant position’, what action could be taken?
  4. Why is competition argued to be a good thing? Could the EU’s investigation actually not be in the interests of the public?