What would happen if Google took Chrome private (i.e. shut down open source)?

With the majority of browsers basing their code on Chrome, doesn’t that give Google a LOT of power? Let’s say they decided to take Chrome private? Or, could they dictate that all browser must display Google ads?

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It could make a lot of problems, but they could all switch over to Firefox as a base or WebKit as used in Safari, assuming Chromium wasn’t kept going, all of which are open source.

The question is, whether Google would lose market share if they tried that. If the majority carry on using Chrome, it would mean they could abuse the standards to their own ends.

Edge and brave etc are based on the open sourced chromium project and not chrome itself so Google don’t really have this power.

Yes and no. If they took Chrome completely in-house, Chromium might still exist, but it would divert from what Chrome could do.

Even though Chromium is open source, it is still owned by Google, right? And they could take it in house, right?

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Given the licenses Google has applied to Chromium, they can never prevent others from using what currently exists.

They could completely stop financing, contributing code to, and hosting the project going forward.

However since Amazon, Microsoft and Samsung use Chromium for their current browsers it’s a virtual certainty one or more of those companies would step up with support for the project.

Here’s a fairly complete list of the browsers that have an interest in keeping Chromium going.


They have already made parts of it proprietary so other browser makers have to fill in a few gaps with their builds or pay google.

As they took on the project from the old summer of code days, it may be in the original licencing that restricts a lot of what they are allowed to do with it.
People forget Google didn’t actually create chrome, it was one of the open source projects they hosted that they saw value in.
Google don’t actually invent much, though get credit for bringing us inovation.
No, they mostly buy up other peoples innovation and brand it as Google.