The Nonmarket Environment of Google

By David Baron
2008 | Case No. P55

Google had become an extraordinarily popular website because of the efficiency of its search engine and that popularity spiraled through its applications. The key to Google’s financial success was placing advertisements tailored to the search queries of each user. Google’s objective was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible,” and it’s strategy had three components: search, ads, and applications.

An expanding set of nonmarket challenges accompanied Google’s success and growth. Challenges came from all areas: competitors, producers of complementary products, content producers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the public. This case explores Google’s nonmarket challenges, including privacy issues in both the United States and European Union, the spectrum auction, intellectual property, corporate social responsibility, and Google’s business practices in China.

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