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Watchdog says Google has 'Microsoft-like monopoly' in key web areas

"Our goal is to give users the info they're seeking as quickly as possible. Sometimes that means showing a map, a streaming audio link, or an answer to a question at the top of the page if we think that’s what users want," Kovacevich said. "We strive to deliver what we think is the most relevant result from a variety of content types, and if we’re not giving users the information they want then other sources of information are always one click away.”

The report is part of Consumer Watchdog’s Google Privacy and Accountability Project, which is "intended to open Google’s largely secretive practices to public scrutiny." Former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Glenn Simpson wrote the report based on Internet traffic data from more than 100 popular websites.

"The data shows that Google has established a Microsoft-like monopoly in some key areas of the web. In video, Google has nearly doubled its market share to almost 80 percent," the report states. "That is the legal definition of a monopoly, according to the federal courts, which have held that a firm achieves 'monopoly power' when it gains between 70% and 80% of a market."

"The ultimate significance of these developments is that they spell a rapid decline in choice for consumers."

Google told the San Francisco Chronicle the report's premise and methodology are flawed and said its search practices are designed to benefit users.