You are here

Open Internet

New academic study challenges notion Google & DoubleClick aren't competitors

A new antitrust analysis by leading academics in the field provides some very relevant and eyebrow-raising new third-party survey data that appears to debunk Google's main defense of the DoubleClick acquisition: that Google and DoubleClick are not competitors. 

  • This first and most comprehensive market survey of advertisers suggests that DoubleClick's customers do indeed view Google and DoubleClick offering as substitutes/competitors for their ad dollars.  

For those following this merger review closely, this study is a must read:

Why is this study important?

Great FT article on Google provides more evidence of Google's cultural aversion to internal controls

Richard Waters of the FT produced a very insightful and newsy article on how Google reportedly passed on buying DoubleClick two years earlier over internal concerns about how that alignment of businesses could clash with Google's famed "don't be evil' highmindedness.

  • It's a must read article for Googlephiles.

My big takeaway from this article was an undercurrent of Google's struggle over internal controls to ensure Google's "ethics" are carried out in practice.  

Frontline Wireless' shameless misdirection to pickpocket the American taxpayer

Reed Hundt's Frontline Wireless is proposing more changes to the FCC's 700 MHz auction rules upon reconsiderataion -- so watch your wallet!

Per today's Comm Daily: 

Google competing in yet another way with DoubleClick

The New York Times (and others) reported yesterday Google's announcement that it was launching a "Gadget ads" program  which is essentially display-ad-serving to "widgets' which are essentially "mini-websites" within websites.

It is getting harder and harder for Google antitrust lawyers to argue with a straight face that Google does not compete in the market of "display-ad-serving" with DoubleClick.

  • Google is the world leader in "serving":
    • search text ads
    • contextual ads;
    • video display ads through YouTube,
  • And is now entering: 
    • mobile ad- serving;
    • and widget ad-serving to these mini-websites withing websites.
  • Google's definition of "ad-serving" is increasingly becoming too-cute-by-half semantic wordplay and not a functional or factual definition.

Antitrust officials should ask Google if they are colluding with DoubleClick to not compete while the merger is pending.

Cities learning there is no wireless "free lunch"

It seems the "pixie dust" of "free" municipal wifi isn't so "magical" after all.

To quote one of my conservative heroes, the late great Milton Friedman, "there is no free lunch."

  • The article chronicles the growing trend that cities around the country are finally learning that simple economic lesson -- which should have been obvious to them from the start.
  • But how could the cities forget the economic truism that "there is no free lunch" and let their expectations so far exceed reality?
    • The answer lies in how many companies, who routinely expect a "free lunch" from communications carriers (like net neutrality supporters: Google, eBay-Skype, Amazon, Intel et.al), whispered in these cities ears that they could easily have free or very low cost wireless broadband access.
      • The problem that these net neutrality/open access proponents brushed under the rug was that building and operating a wireless broadband network, even a lower cost WiFi or WiMax network, still costs a substantial amount of money, and requires substantial resources and expertise to pull off at a minimum quality level.

Bottomline:  What I hope cities take away from this painful lesson is what they were taught when they were young: "if it looks too good to be true, it is."

Implications for Google-DoubleClick of Microsoft losing antitrust appeal

So what are the implications of Microsoft losing its antitrust appeal in the EU's Appeals court -- which was a page one story in all the major papers?

More and different than most may think.

The EU is signalling in it's harsh treatment of Microsoft, that the EU is going to be tough on "dominant" firms. 

New evidence bolstering why Google-DoubleClick merger is anti-competitive

The New York Times has twin articles today that provide fresh additional evidence of why the Google-DoubleClick merger is anticompetitive: "Google to sell Webpage ads on Mobile phones" and "Times stops charging for parts of its website." 

The first article is yet more compelling evidence that Google's main merger defense -- that Google and DoubleClick don't compete in serving ads -- is simply bogus.

I am a panelist with Tim Wu at Future of Music Conference 9-17

I am on a Broadband Policy panel on Monday at 4:45 at the Future of Music Summit with a couple of the lead folks who champion net neutrality: Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term, and Ben Scott, of Free Press who has slickly popularized it in close coordination with Moveon.org.

  • Should be interesting, the panel appears to be fairly balanced: one against NN (me) and the rest of the panel avidly for it.
  • Wish me luck.

 Leveling the Playing Field: how does broadband policy affect musicians?

Congress and the FCC are currently working a series of initiatives designed to revise the telecommunications regulatory framework, with everything from spectrum reform, to broadband deployment, to network neutrality on the table. How will proposed revisions impact musicians, citizens and technologists? How does broadband policy intersect with concerns about protecting intellectual property? What would a pro-musician Telecom Act look like?

Charles Bissell Musician, The Wrens

Scott Cleland Chairman, NetCompetition.org

Peter Gordon President, Thirsty Ear

Jason Oxman Vice President, Communications, Consumer Electronics Association

Google hypocrisy on privacy knows no bounds; also Monday Privacy event on GoogleDoubleClick

Google calling for global privacy standards is like the fox guarding the henhouse calling for better chicken wire standards. 

In a public relations ploy, Google, is now calling for international privacy legislation; see AP's "Google launches global privacy crusade."

My analysis of Google's call for International privacy standards is that it is a transparent PR ploy to try and lead the protest march for the cameras while trying to distract people from the fact that the privacy "march" is actually heading directly towards Google headquarters. 

Google's wireless credibility hurt by abandoning San Fran's WiFi effort

Google's credibility as a real and reliable wireless carrier has taken a big hit in that Tech Daily is reporting that a Google/Earthlink's "sweeping plan to blanket San Francisco with a high speed Internet network is officially dead."

With much fanfare Google has said it would bring free WiFi to San Francisco at an estimated cost of $15 million with partner Earthlink, which now is experiencing financial problems and layoffs.

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths