Google goes beyond Android Market, presses Play

With Google Play, which is replacing the Android Market today, Google is showing it’s serious about consolidating its multitude of offerings — and going the way of rivals Apple and, which for various reasons have had more success in selling media than Google has. Among the implications of the move is that Google Music and eBookstore are being wrapped up into Google Play, VentureBeat points out. Google Play will be the one-stop shop for all things Google is peddling.

Speaking of peddling, this brings us to what seems like an age-old issue by now. Besides being the world’s dominant search engine, Google increasingly is peddling content and goods and services. Because of this, the Mountain View company is bound to keep running into questions about fairness, such as the placement of its own offerings in Google search results. These issues are central to the antitrust probe against Google in Europe, for example. (See Microsoft joins the pile as Google hits keep coming.) Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has had to answer questions from lawmakers about the company’s effect on its competition. (See Schmidt, Google rivals testify.)

Google has had its share of criticism lately, especially after its recent move to consolidate its privacy policy as well. (See Google’s latest controversial move: updating its privacy policy. What will it think of next?) While Google Play might better help the company compete with Apple and Amazon, it’s also a repackaged reminder of Google’s gargantuan reach — and what a massive target it is for its critics and rivals.



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