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Innovation

Mobile Content: Google's Commons vs. Apple's Market

Mobile content producers do not have a truly competitive choice between Google's 10% fee One Pass service and Apple's 30% fee subscription service, as much as they have a value system choice between Google's Internet commons model and Apple's property-rights-driven market.

 

  • Google's One Pass offering looks eerily like its Google TV offering, where major video content owners faced the platform choice between dumb content and Content is King."
    • Given that choice, content-is-king-oriented owners broadly rejected Google's property-hostile, dumb-content system/model.
  • As mobile content providers and carriers threatened with "dumb content" and bandwidth/spectrum commodification from Google's "free" commons model assess their real long term strategic competitive and value-creation options, they will increasingly look toward, and forward to, the nascent Microsoft-Nokia alliance offering and RIM's offering for content-is-king allies and true competitive choices.

As much as Google tries to fool Little Red Riding Hood content owners that their Grandma always had such big eyes and big teeth, most mobile content providers will spot the Google commons wolf in disguise.

 

Two Fatal Flaws in Google's Antitrust Defense -- Part VII Google Pinocchio Series

Google search executive Amit Singhal exposed two fatal flaws in Google's antitrust defense in an excellent and revealing interview with James Temple of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The core of Google's antitrust defense (overall, in Google-ITA, and in the Google Book Settlement) are two foundational claims:

 

  • Everything Google does is for users and is pro-user -- so tautologically Google cannot be doing anything wrong; and
  • Everything Google does is innovative and is pro-innovation -- so tautologically Google cannot be doing anything wrong.

 

I. Does Google only work for user interests?

Beneath Google's saccharine claim that they only have users interests at heart, is a deep cynicism that everyone is stupid, especially antitrust authorities.

Does Google think antitrust authorities are so stupid that:

 

Will the FCC Lose the Future?

Do the actions of the FCC match the FCC's words of support for the President's commitment to the "least burdensome tools to achieve regulatory ends?"

 

  • Does the FCC truly agree with the President's State of the Union that: "We can't win the future with a government of the past?"

 

  • There is much troubling evidence that the FCC mindset is firmly wedded to the regulatory past and not committed to competitively "winning the future."

 

There are three disturbing trends at the FCC: preservationism, pessimism and silo-ism -- that all strongly indicate that the FCC's trajectory is more geared toward losing the future than winning the future.

I. FCC Preservationism (Shackling the future with the mindset, approaches and legacy networks/regulations of the past.)

Most of the last year the FCC has been obsessed with FCC historical preservation, i.e. strongly considering restoring the FCC to its past glory days with new Title II common carrier regulation of the Internet, but then settling on a 1934 era interpretation of the FCC's Title I authority at its most boundless.

 

Skyhook Wireless is Google's Netscape -- Googleopoly VII: Monopolizing Location Services

Skyhook Wireless' anticompetitive complaints are to Google's antitrust problems what Netscape's complaints were to DOJ's anti-monopolization case against Microsoft -- i.e. the most blatant, understandable, and strategically-important example of abusing monopoly power to monopolize a linchpin technology in order to extend the monopoly into other strategic markets.

 

  • Simply, Skyhook Wireless is the poster child victim of Google monopoly abuse.

 

 

I.  Why is Skyhook-Google analogous to  Netscape-Microsoft ?

Of all the many claims of anti-competitive behavior against Google that I have reviewed over the last four years, I believe the Skyhook complaints are the charges that Google should be most worried about and that the DOJ/EU should be most interested in.

FCC's Net Regs in Conflict with President's Pledges

The FCC's Open Internet order should be ripe for review and "fixing" given President Obama's pledge in his SOTU speech last night:

  • "To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on business, we will fix them."

Clearly the FCC's preemptive bans, restrictions and economic/price regulation of competitive broadband providers based on scant and weak evidence of any real problem to solve, obviously place "an unnecessary burden on business" and the Administration should "fix them."

As I explained in my previous detailed post: "Why FCC's Net Regs Need Administration/Congressional Regulatory Review," the FCC's Open Internet order violates the President's pledge for regulations to:

Larry Page's Biggest Challenges as Google CEO

Larry Page is very different from Eric Schmidt, consequently he will be a completely different Google CEO.

 

  • Mr. Page is the internal hardliner and the main driving force behind Google, providing the uber-ambition, the "open" philosophy/ideology zeal, the passion-for-innovation, and the impatient, aggressive take-no-prisoners approach to most everything Google does.
  • Mr. Page has always been the penultimate power, final decision-maker and driving force inside Google behind the scenes.
  • Mr. Schmidt has been the co-founders' public face and very able implementer and businessman.

 

The biggest difference people will notice will be external relations.

First, Schmidt and Page are polar opposites when it comes to external relations.

Why FCC's Net Regs Need Administration/Congressional Regulatory Review

To promote "America's free market," President Obama today ordered a government-wide review of regulations that "make our economy less competitive," in order to take us "toward a 21st century regulatory system."

Here is the case for why the FCC's December Open Internet order deserves to be atop of the Administration's regulations to review for abolition.

 

 

First, the FCC's new Internet regulations violate the President's goal of a "21st century regulatory system" by applying "outdated" 19th century common carrier regulatory thinking and approaches to the previously un-regulated, and flourishing 21st century Internet. (Para 68)

Second, the FCC rules violate the President's goal of avoiding "excessive, inconsistent, and redundant regulation."

 

Fact-Checking Google's Antitrust Defense -- Part VI in Google Pinocchio Series

In a rare public antitrust defense, Google posted a rebuttal of Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein's challenge of Google's strategy of buying its way to broader market dominance (via its pending acquisition of ITA Software that is being reviewed by the DOJ.)

Google's standard misdirection warrants fact-checking.

First, Google claims: "All companies make 'build vs. buy' decisions. The clear subtext here is that Google is no different than any other company making acquisitions, so if others have had their mergers approved so should Google -- fair is fair.

This is misleading because Google is omitting highly material facts of how Google is very different than other companies, and why ITA arguably is a very special case.

 

FCC Should Declare Victory

Comcast's EVP David Cohen spoke at Brookings today on "Who should Govern the Internet."

 

  • His thesis was dead on and well worth spotlighting -- the Internet is an engineering creation and the Internet flourishes because it lives in the collaborative and capable hands of engineers dedicated to making the Internet work for everyone.
  • The speech explained how engineers working together in forums like the IETF and BITAG can solve, and solve quickly, issues that others try to unnecessarily involve lawyers and regulators in.

 

My big takeaway from the event, was that the FCC should declare victory -- that we have a free and open Internet -- and then get back to the real pressing work facing the FCC -- the National Broadband Plan.

There are no existing net neutrality problems, and no technical issues that the industry engineering bodies, IETF and BITAG have not been able to resolve.

There is simply no need for the FCC to fix an Internet that is already operating as the FCC and most everyone expects it to operate.

5 Big Reasons DOJ Will Block Google-ITA

Google's proposed purchase of ITA Software is likely to be blocked by the DOJ for five big reasons.

First, the announcement of a new FairSearch.org coalition of Google's Travel competitors opposed to the Google-ITA deal, which was first reported by Tom Catan of the WSJ, provides the DOJ with most all the elements necessary for the DOJ to block the deal: broad and deep evidence of anticompetitive effects from multiple competitors with deep understanding of the market, a sound theory of the case, and a number of credible witnesses willing to take the stand in court to block the deal.

Second, a key opposition counsel who represents IAC's Expedia, is none other that Tom Barnett, who was the DOJ Antitrust Chief in 2008, who blocked a previous Google attempt to monopolize in the Google-Yahoo Ad Agreement.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths