Clash of the Titans

Ever wonder what it would be like to be Larry Page or Sergey Brin? You know, Google’s rich and fabulous co-founders that are on a mission to rule the world. That might not be your opinion, but it would be if you ran some of the other internet juggernauts. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

It’s a copy-cat world, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the internet. Just recently, Amazon announced plans to launch an ad-free video download service. This fresh on the heals of both Google and Yahoo having recently launched user content driven video services, ala YouTube.

The real question is how the independent companies will create enough revenue to survive. With shareholder pressure for creating new streams of revenue, the competition will only get tougher for the little guys. YouTube is still privately held, but is continually entering more rounds of VC funding just to cover its bandwidth costs, which were estimated to be closing in on $1 million a month and growing. Because Google and Yahoo can afford that kind of bandwidth costs, it wouldn’t surprise me to see YouTube be acquired in the near future.

Here’s a list of recent mergers, acquisitions and announcements:

  • Google launches Google Talk instant messenger service with VoIP calling capabilities
  • Both Yahoo and Google launch video services
  • eBay buys Skype to add VoIP calling capabilities
  • Yahoo and Google acquire Flickr and Picasa respectively, etc

Now Amazon is offering grid storage web services.

It’s not enough that the top internet juggernauts compete against each other in nearly every arena. Here’s a great example of Google competing against one of its largest AdWords and AdSense advertisers, eBay.

The eBay “Sponsored Link” is as follows:

Miami Spa
Whatever you’re looking for
you can get it on eBay.
www.eBay.com

The Google branded ad is as follows:

Find a Local Spa
Locate spas in your area-
Find it with Google Maps
maps.google.com

I’ll give you one guess whose ad was ranked higher.

Over time, all the major internet players will offer similar, if not the same service. It’ll be a matter of where the user’s allegiance is. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. What happened to the day when I used Amazon to buy my book, eBay to resell it, and Google to help me with my French homework?