A: Mountain View, California, United States
"Regulators in the United States and Europe are conducting sweeping inquiries of Google, the dominant Internet search and advertising company. Google rose by technological innovation and business acumen; in the United States, it has 67 percent of the search market and collects 75 percent of search ad dollars. Being big is no crime, but if a powerful company uses market muscle to stifle competition, that is an antitrust violation.
"So the government is focusing on life in Google’s world for the sprawling economic ecosystem of Web sites that depend on their ranking in search results. What is it like to live this way, in a giant’s shadow? The experience of its inhabitants is nuanced and complex, a blend of admiration and fear.
"The relationship between Google and web sites, publishers and advertisers often seems lopsided, if not unfair. Yet Google has also provided and nurtured a landscape of opportunity. Its ecosystem generates $80 billion a year in revenue for 1.8 million businesses, Web sites and nonprofit organizations in the United States alone, it estimates.
"The government’s scrutiny of Google is the most exhaustive investigation of a major corporation since the pursuit of Microsoft in the late 1990s" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/technology/google-casts-a-big-shadow-on-smaller-web-sites.html?hpw, accessed 11-04-2012).