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Google's perverse version of the "Golden Rule"

Google's naiveté and cluelessness on antitrust matters continues to amaze me. While Google has ramped up its Washington lobbying presence a ton of late, it is amusing that the company-at-large still does not have a lick of political savvy or common sense.

It is almost as if Google operates having an out-of-body experience, where their leaders think they can float sanctimoniously above the playing field and see everything perfectly, but no one can see them or what they are doing.

What do I mean? Let me put Google's antitrust and political behavior into context.

  • Google is ferociously going after Microsoft on antitrust matters. After they recently won a huge concession from Microsoft to make Google's desktop search work better and faster -- a concession not required by the DOJ-supervised committee that oversees Microsoft's competitive behavior -- Google is now asking for Microsoft's antitrust decree not to expire.
  • This is classic, hardball, take-no-prisoners behavior that sometimes yields short-term results, but always invites long-term disaster.
  • In effect, Google is taunting the antitrust-caged Microsoft tiger, imagining that they are untouchable, invincible and legally superior.

It is amazing to me that Google appears to be unaware and clueless that they have voluntarily walked into their own “antitrust cage" of the FTC review process for approving two of their deals, DoubleClick and FeedBurner.

  • They obviously think that they have zero risk of disapproval or conditions in these pending deals.
  • Time will tell if their wishful thinking turns out to be true.

To put my point in tighter perspective, savvy companies with lobbying presence generally try to behave under the corporate version of the "Golden Rule": i.e. "Don't propose Government restrictions on your competitors that your own company is unwilling to live with." This wisdom comes from long Washington experience, that "what goes around, comes around."

  • It appears Google has its own standard operating creed called "The Plutonium Rule" i.e. "Do unto others what you'd never want done to you."

Google has long had a double standard that it predatorily uses for its competitive advantage.

  • The Washington Post article today had a great quote driving this point home:
    • Law professor, Theodore Bolema: "Google's complaint "seems more focused on protecting Google," a competitor, than protecting consumers, which is a tenet of antitrust."
  • Remember, Google also leads the charge for new net neutrality regulation, only for broadband technologies, not Internet access technologies like Google.
    • However, Google with 65% share of the leading way consumers access the Internet, has much greater share of its market than any broadband providers, whose market share has been steadily decreasing.

Bottomline: Google is operating very immaturely in Washington, like the eight-year old spoiled bratco that Google is. Googlers obviously think the world revolves around Google. Doesn't everyone?

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