One might conclude that Google is the Internet law maker after “Google said that starting in November it would begin penalizing sites that show these “please install our app” ads.” The New York Times article on September 2, 2015 entitled “Competitors Accuse Google of Using Search to Diminish Apps” included these blog post comments from Daniel Bathgate, a software engineer at Google Search that the “ads hide a significant amount of content and prompts the user to install an app”:
Our analysis shows that it is not a good search experience and can be frustrating for users because they are expecting to see the content of the web page.
The report included these comments from persistent Google critic Luther Lowe (vice president for public policy at Yelp):
Google saw its users fleeing mobile search via an exit door that led to apps,…
To make sure they can continue to extend their search monopoly onto mobile, Google is essentially telling app developers, ‘We’re losing too many of our users to your apps, so your new users will have to go through a doggy door.’
It will be interesting to follow these new rules and their impact on antitrust claims against Google.