The NYT asks today: “Is Google Entering the Mortgage Quote Business?”
The story notes that in a lawsuit between two mortgage-lead businesses, Lending Tree and MorTech, Lending Tree claims that MorTech is providing its technology to Google, so that Google can compete with Lending Tree.
Does this mean Google is getting into the mortgage business?
Of course it does. And … of course it doesn’t. Because Google already owns the market.
Google is in the lead generation and arbitrage business. It has been since the birth of the auction on AdWords and the spread of syndication through Adsense. Google makes billions on arbitraging leads. And very few markets are as rich in lead generation cash as the mortgage business.
So, in a way, Google already is in the business. And always will be. The company admitted to the Times that it is testing a new approach to this lucrative market that optimizes returns, and why not? Do a search for Home Mortgage. There’s a lot of demand out there for leads. Google smells an opportunity to cut out a middle man, and increase margins.
Reminds me of a certain company back in the early 1990s…