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Google-Admeld: More Gaming of Antitrust Enforcement?

Google's reported purchase of Admeld, described by TechCrunch as "an advertising optimization platform for publishers," appears to be another clever gaming of the antitrust enforcement process by Google to reinforce and extend its core search advertising monopoly.

  • Google appears to believe they have figured out their monopolization-extension formula via antitrust enforcement, and are now in "lather, rinse and repeat" mode.

As I explained in formally opposing Google's acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007, which I believed would help quickly tip Google to monopoly (which it did) by allowing Google to buy the roughly third of user, advertiser and publisher relationships that they did not have, antitrust enforcers focused myopically on the market of the acquired company and missed the monopolization-extension significance and effect of the purchase on substantially augmenting the core Google search advertising monopoly.

Google's exceptionally clever gaming of the antitrust enforcement process here, is a relatively simple and powerful maneuver that only Google can do, because only Google has the near perfect market inside information that its search advertising monopoly provides.

Rural Cellular’s Dilemma: Can’t Win the Future, Anchored to the Past

 

The Rural Cellular Association’s opposition to the AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition puts a spotlight on the un-sustainability of the analog rural cellular model that is on the wrong side of broadband change.

 

  • The clear but unspoken subtext of the RCA’s opposition is their recognition that their current subsidized model of rural cellular providers is fundamentally ill-equipped for the competitive broadband era.
  • Simply, the RCA is quixotically trying to drag the anchor of an inefficiently and unsustainably subsidized analog business model into the efficient and competitive broadband Internet future – a recipe for losing the future.

 

Importantly, most of the RCA’s problems exist completely separate from this transaction.

 

Denying Competitive Substitution is Weakest Link of FCC's De-Competition Policy

In order to justify broadband price regulation in the Open Internet and Data Roaming orders, the FCC and FreePress must continue to undermine Congress' competition policy by denying the increasingly obvious and incontrovertible facts that users competitively substitute broadband services between various broadband technologies like copper networks/DSL, cable modems, fiber, WiFi/WiMax, wireless broadband, and satellite.

 

Pro-regulation FreePress' Fact-Challenged Opposition to AT&T/T-Mobile

FreePress' radical anti-business, anti-capitalism politics lead it to make up or contort facts and analogies in order to promote its world view of a publicly-owned and regulated Internet commons.

In FreePress' latest opposition to the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, FreePress continues to nonsensically analogize this merger with the Ma Bell monopoly.

 

FCC's In Search of Relevance in 706 Report

The FCC's latest arbitrary and capricious torturing of the facts, law, and common sense, in its most recent 706 report, makes it obvious that the FCC is "in search of relevance" and highly insecure about its authority and role in the broadband competition era.

 

  • Apparently, the FCC now sees competition-driven consumer benefits as a threat to the FCC's relevance, role and authority.
    • If the bipartisan policy/law of promoting competition succeeds, then the FCC by definition has less and less to do.
  • It is becoming increasingly apparent that many at the FCC don't want competition policy to succeed, because they vainly believe that the FCC can, and should, mandate social outcomes "better" than market forces and consumer choice can produce via competition.

Thus the pro-regulation forces at the FCC are increasingly and proactively seeking to discredit competition policy wherever possible by ignoring and torturing any facts, evidence, logic and common sense that do not forward their government-centric-view that "expert" FCC regulators invariably know best.

    Consider the common thread between:

    Announcing My New Book: Search & Destroy Why You Can't Trust Google Inc.

    I've long thought there was a big untold story about Google, essentially a book all about Google, but told from a user's perspective, rather than the well-worn path of Google books told largely from Google's own paternal perspective.

     

     

     

    Given that Google is the most ubiquitous, powerful and disruptive company in the world, it seemed logical to me that users, and people affected by Google, had a lot of important and fundamental questions about Google that no book had ever tried to answer in a straightforward and well-defended manner.

    Google WiSpy II & Privacy Scandal #11 vs. Apple's Respect for Privacy

    The current media and Congressional interest in the new revelation that Google and Apple have collected WiFi location information has largely missed an exceptionally salient point -- Google and Apple have very different privacy track records stemming from their very different attitudes toward privacy.

    Google Privacy Scandal #11:

    AT&T - T-Mobile in Competitive Perspective

    As the DOJ and FCC research and sort through the competitive facts of the AT&T-T-Mobile acquisition for themselves in the months ahead, it will become clear that opponents' current rhetoric and assertions are over-the-top, exaggerated and simply not credible.

    • FreePress and others' claims that this transaction will enable AT&T to "monopolize everything" and reconstitute the "Ma Bell Monopoly," are political demonization arguments devoid of evidence; they are designed to discredit U.S. competition policy, demonize free markets, and justify new FCC interventionist regulation like net neutrality, special access etc.

    I.   The Relevant Facts:

    Implications of DOJ-Google/ITA Antitrust Settlement

    There are many major going-forward implications resulting from the DOJ's latest antitrust enforcement action against Google -- this time to mitigate the anti-competitive effects of the proposed Google-ITA transaction.

     

     

     

    Summary of Implications:

    1. Google is clearly the DOJ's main antitrust concern.
    2. DOJ is 4-0 against Google while FTC is 0-2.
    3. DOJ concludes Google is a monopoly -- again.
    4. Remarkably, Google is actively choosing a regulated future for itself.
    5. Google is choosing the trajectory of a regulated antitrust remedy long term over the trajectory of a break-up remedy.
    6. The narrow market definition is good news for those privately suing Google for antitrust violations.
    7. The Google-ITA "firewall" will prove very difficult for the DOJ to police effectively.
    8. The complaint mechanism is important.

     

    Google's Deceptive "one click away" Antitrust Defense -- Part VIII Google Antitrust Pinocchio Series

    As reports swirl that the FTC and DOJ may be considering a formal antitrust investigation of Google, like the EU already launched in November 2010, Google continues its deceptive, one-dimensional, superficial, antitrust defense mantra that "competition is one click away," and that Google is only focused on users and innovation.

     

    • It is telling that just last week the FTC charged Google with deceptive privacy practices, and Google tacitly admitted its public deceptiveness and misrepresentation in submitting to the FCC's consent order; so I am not alone here in charging that Google is deceptive and misrepresents itself to the public.

     

    So how is Google's antitrust defense deceptive?

    First, Google's stale four-year antitrust mantra that competition is but a click away and Google puts users first, is deceptive because Google knows full well that competition and antitrust involves much more than just users -- as they claim -- but an entire competitive ecosystem.

     

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