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1QAte4 t1_j5r8x47 wrote

This is a legitimate issue regarding "breaking up" a lot of tech companies. You can use a ton of Google services for free in exchange for seeing some ads. Nobody wants to be responsible for forcing Google to have to charge a subscription for Google Maps for example.


DistortoiseLP t1_j5ro6il wrote

Google does charge for Google Maps, just not for the typical user that makes up the value they're charging for. If you want to use the API for anything down to embedding a map on your site up to a full featured application like GeoGuessr, you're paying on a per-request basis once you use up the complimentary quota.

Ads certainly aren't the only way services like Maps are monetized, although luring customers to businesses is still the typical use case to pay for it. The people using it for free are the product that Google then charges businesses to leverage. Once upon a time, much of this API was free, and it's there that Google installed the premiums in this case.


minomes t1_j5t6r4h wrote

You can easily embed maps on a site without paying


mattaw2001 t1_j5ujubu wrote

Not in any quantity anymore. But for a small organization's website it is currently free.


Cyrix2k OP t1_j5r9okd wrote

MapQuest was free before Google came along


1QAte4 t1_j5r9yt8 wrote

Yeah and you used to have to print out the directions on your home PC. You still needed to go to their website which had ads too.


Cyrix2k OP t1_j5ranc7 wrote

Many years ago that was true. My point is that without Google's influence and anti-competitive policies, it's likely MapQuest would have continued to be the dominant player for online mapping which was originally free and would likely continue to be free. The fact it's ad supported is immaterial - back then, it would have been supported by non-Google ads. It's a great example of why Google should be broken up.


1QAte4 t1_j5rd7rd wrote

My point was: would the MapQuest in your timeline where Google doesn't exist be a better product than Google Maps today? I am not convinced that MapQuest would have made an even as good product as Google Maps without having the Google Ad system to help develop it.

I agree that Google seems to have a monopoly on internet ads. You are totally correct about that. But my point is that we need to be careful when we start "breaking up" tech companies since the unintended consequences can be dramatic for every day systems that we take for granted. The average consumer doesn't care about there being a competitive digital advertising market. The average consumer wants free services and will resent those services being taken away because the DoJ broke up Google. The government genuinely cannot afford to disrupt services hundreds of millions of Americans have come to rely on.


didsomebodysaymyname t1_j5sq4i6 wrote

>Nobody wants to be responsible for forcing Google to have to charge a subscription for Google Maps for example.

That wouldn't happen.

Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all do basically the same thing, and all coexist. Lots of people use one or some of them, but not the others. They all survive by selling ads or data.

Waze exists. If Google got broken up and maps started charging, they would have no customers and everyone would switch to something else.

Competition usually lowers prices.


ablatner t1_j5sylqu wrote

Google has owned Waze for years.


rasifiel t1_j5t8xbs wrote

And they merged Waze and GMaps team.


didsomebodysaymyname t1_j5uykbk wrote

My bad, but the point still stands, when Waze was independent it was popular, and Google was bugged enough by it to buy it.

They didn't start charging for Maps in response to competition, they paid to get rid of the competition.


Cyrix2k OP t1_j5uh5lp wrote

It's another reason Google should be broken up though. Google bought Waze for 1 billion dollars in 2013, a move due to Google's extreme wealth, power and influence. That acquisition removed competition from the market, competition that offered what many believed to be a superior product. Even the old Waze CEO commented "Looking back, we could have probably grown faster and much more efficiently had we stayed independent."


didsomebodysaymyname t1_j5uysot wrote

Yeah, the fact they didn't start charging in response to competition and in fact paid to get rid of it shows their argument about having to charge if they're broken up is BS.


lvlint67 t1_j626gur wrote

> Waze exist... Competition...

Oh honey...