Does your phone have a GOOG-411 button?

While visiting family we noticed that their telephone had a dedicated GOOG-411 button. We’ve been using Google’s free 411 service for what seems like years but seeing this show up in the form of an auto-dial button is astonishing.

The question that pops to mind: how is this not an antitrust suit waiting to happen? Directory assistance is BIG MONEY that Google undercut when launching its free service. By shipping phones that have the number pre-programmed doesn’t that limit choice and competition in the same way that shipping Windows with Internet Explorer does? Perhaps the difference is that Microsoft has a near monopoly on the PC OS market while GE can’t say the same about cordless phones.

We’re not antitrust lawyers, and neither are you, but we’d still like to hear your opinions about this in the comments.

Comments

  1. Confusion says:

    My landline phone company charges $2.50 everytime I dial GOOG411. Its been going on for months. I couldn’t figure out why my bill has been so high For the past year. Im sure they are not forwarding any of the money to Google and tell me “thats just the way it is”.

  2. Oren Beck says:

    RE: that $2.50 hit for calling GOOG411. IANAL, but there’s a good chance your carrier is in violation of some Tariff rulings. Some digging into your area’s Tariff archives might be VERY instructive if not potentially rewarding. I cannot see how charging for an 800 call to GOOG Vs a call to any other “non caller pays” 800 number is legal. It would be like charging you for calling one person/company a different rate than any other person or company.

    ALL of this Scene reeks of what made Almon B Strowger decide to stop losing bodies:)

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