Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2013-01-16 14:53
Google not only dominates the web, the Google Lobby also dominates Big Internet's policy agenda in Washington in part via its new proxy, the Internet Association, the self-appointed "unified voice of the Internet economy."
Since market dominance attracts antitrust scrutiny, it necessitates lobbying dominance. The FTC's antitrust investigation prompted Google to hire twelve lobbying firms in a week and to rapidly organize them and legions of law and PR firms into one of the top corporate lobbying operations influencing Washington. Tellingly, a Wall Street Journal op-ed lionized "Google's $25 Million Bargain" lobby and Politico got behind-the-scenes to explain "How Google Beat the Feds."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2013-01-14 11:46
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2013-01-11 09:13
Please see my latest Daily Caller Op-ed "Professor Crawford's Obsolete Public Utility Thinking for Broadband" -- here.
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Obsolete Communications Law Research Series:
Note: Please see here for a summary powerpoint presentation of the problems with obsolete communications law.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-01-08 13:21
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2013-01-07 11:21
Summary of Top Takeaways from the FTC's Google Antitrust Decisions:
1. Google's U.S. search bias win establishes a broad Internet-friendly FTC antitrust enforcement precedent.
Top Ten Unanswered Questions on FTC-Google Antitrust Outcome -- Google Unaccountability Series Part 15Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2013-01-03 11:28
The FTC's reported closing of its Google search bias investigation with no real enforceable settlement mechanism and a special new self-enforcement antitrust precedent apparently only available to Google, raises serious questions about the integrity of the FTC's law enforcement process and whether the FTC accords Google with special treatment not available to other companies.
This matter raises many more troubling questions than the top ten unanswered questions raised in this piece, but these questions zero in on many of the most glaring irregularities for Congressional overseers, the media and government watchdogs to follow up on.
The Uneconomics of Data Cap Price Regulation and Legislation -- Part 14 Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-12-20 18:00
The latest attempts to subvert the competitive success of the current free market broadband Internet to advance the fantasy of abundance uneconomics and cost-less Internet commons is the New America Foundation's (NAF) white paper entitled: "Capping the Nation's Broadband Future? Dwindling competition is fueling the rise of increasingly costly and restrictive Internet usage caps;" and Senator Wyden's proposed "Data Cap Integrity Act" to have the FCC effectively price regulate broadband usage and ban traffic discrimination a la "net neutrality."
In a nutshell, the NAF paper argues competition, usage-based pricing and the profit motive ill-serve the broadband Internet consumer; thus the Government should prohibit the market-pricing model of broadband data caps.
In a nutshell, Senator Wyden's proposed legislation argues that broadband usage and tiered pricing harm consumers by discouraging Internet use, discriminating against high-bandwidth services, and inhibiting innovation because ISPs make money on heavy broadband usage. Thus the Government should price regulate competitive broadband companies to prevent extraction of "monopoly rents."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-12-17 22:08
Please sing to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
On the twelfth day of Christmas the FTC gave to me:
Twelve winkers winking
Eleven fibbers fibbing
Ten bluffs a bluffing
Nine Google's poodles
Eight flacks a flacking
Seven fawns a fawning
No enforce-ment! ...
Three big passes
Troubling Irregularities Mount in FTC Commissioners' Handling of Google Antitrust Investigation -- Part 14 Google Unaccountability SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-12-17 00:25
The mounting number of unprecedented, inexplicable, and troubling irregularities in the FTC's cumulative law enforcement record of Google warrants oversight by Congress and renewed vigilance by other law enforcement officials -- State Attorneys General, the DOJ, and the European Commission -- in order to maintain the integrity and deterrent value of the antitrust law enforcement process.
Each of the following sets of facts and circumstances in the FTC's law enforcement experience with Google have raised eyebrows, together there is head-shaking cumulative evidence that reeks of either special treatment for Google or political interference by Google in the process.
Consider the following evidence to judge for yourself if something appears amiss here.
Only Google has been able to get FTC commissioners to twice politically overrule staff recommendations to prosecute after in-depth antitrust investigations, in approving Google-AdMob despite "serious concerns," and in rushing to close the current Google search bias investigation without seeking the most incriminating evidence available.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-12-14 11:13
For those who have been following my Obsolete Communications Law Series, and those interested in an outstanding and more in-depth free-market analysis of the many communications matters that demand modernization for the digital age, please don't miss: Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age -- The Next Five Years, edited by Randy May of the Free State Foundation.
The important work and views of Randy May, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Seth Cooper, Christopher Yoo, James Speta, Michelle Connolly, Daniel Lyons, Ellen Goodman, and Bruce Owen are a must read for those who want to learn how we can vastly improve current obsolete and increasingly dysfunctional communications law and policy in the United States.
Kudos for an important book well done!