Inside Word: Suppose Search Were Competitive — How Would That Affect Newspapers?

Chris Dixon

The Inside Word is a weekly feature that looks at compelling industry debates and discussions unfolding on the blogs of employees at digital-media companies.

Blogger: Chris Dixon

Position: Co-founder, decision-making startup Hunch

Blog name: cdixon.org

Backstory: When publishers complain that they don’t share in any of Google’s ad revenue, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) typically retorts that publishers get lots of traffic from Google — and, more importantly, they can opt-out if they want, and if they choose to participate, they can still control to some extent how their content is picked up by Google.

Blog post: Dixon, who’s also been an early-stage investor in Skype, Postini and Gracenote, argues in a post that Google is being somewhat disingenuous about the realistic options that newspapers have here. “In most markets, with genuinely competitive buyers and suppliers, the revenues are shared between buyers and suppliers in proportion to their relative bargaining power. Their bargaining power depends on how fragmented each side of the market is

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