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Antitrust

Google Mocks EU & FTC Antitrust Enforcement in Courting Yahoo Again -- Part 9 Google Unaccountability Series

Google is mocking EU and FTC antitrust enforcement authorities in seeking to partner (collude) again with Yahoo, its #2 competitor, at the same time Google is deep in antitrust negotiations with the EU antitrust authorities who have already concluded Google is a predatory search monopolist, and while the FTC staff is poised to potentially recommend a sweeping Section 5 antitrust case against Google for deceptive and unfair business practices.

Yesterday Google Chairman Eric Schmidt publicly reiterated that Google would love to be a search partner with Yahoo.

Either Google is somehow confident of back-room political fixes to all their antitrust enforcement troubles, or Google is mocking antitrust authorities with a cavalier "stop us if you can" attitude.

Google continues to act as if it is accountable to no one. Let's review some pertinent history and facts to put in perspective how reckless Google's behavior is in this context.

What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? -- Part 12 of Google's Disrespect for Property Series

What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? The simple answer is Google's leadership profoundly betrayed the longtime personal trust and friendship of Apple's leadership in stealing what Steve Jobs believed were Apple's most prized possessions. The fuller answer is below, in a telling timeline of the once exceptionally-close Apple-Google relationship.

This discussion is timely given Google's current PR effort to convince the public/media that Google and Apple are likely to negotiate a patent "truce" and make Google's Android's patent liabilities go away. Thus it makes sense to drill down to learn more about the real likelihood of Apple being party to any patent-litigation "truce" or grand Apple-Android patent-licensing settlement.

Four Under-Appreciated Implications for Google from Apple-Samsung Verdict -- Part 11 of Google's Disrespect for Property Series

Apple's major $1.05b patent court victory over Google-Android partner Samsung has four under-appreciated implications for Google going forward.

  1. The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.
  2. Google-Apple patent talks compound antitrust risk.
  3. Google's actions, defense strategy, and IP track record drip of guilt and legal vulnerability.
  4. Google's acquisition of Motorola has backfired badly.

1.  The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.

Think about it. Whose interest is it to spotlight a phone conversation between Google's CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook and characterize the conversation as an indicator of a coming "truce" or "détente" in the thermonuclear war" between Apple and Google? Google's alone.

An FTC Googleopoly Get out of Jail Free Card? -- Part 7: Google Unaccountability Series

Connecting the dots, Google may gain a de facto Monopoly® "Get out of Jail Free" antitrust settlement from the FTC before the election. Bloomberg reports that the FTC has pushed to move up the conclusion of its antitrust investigation from "end of the year" to mid-September. Assuming that report is accurate, it has big implications. Let's connect the dots.

First, the sudden acceleration of the endgame of the FTC investigation strongly suggests external circumstances (i.e. the EU-Google antitrust settlement negotiations timetable) are driving the timing/outcome of the FTC's Google investigation, given that the EU and Google reportedly reached an "understanding" in late July that could result in a settlement of antitrust charges. This suggests the FTC is considering becoming a tagalong to the EU settlement, despite the very different law and process in the U.S.

My Interview with Managing IP Magazine on Google Books Litigation

To learn more about the status of Google Books litigation and Google's IP problems, see my interview with Managing IP Magazine here, entitled: "Opinion: Google is waging war on IP law."

Google's Culture of Unaccountability: In their Own Words -- (Google Unaccountability Series: Part II)

We learn about Google's culture-of-unaccountability from Google itself. Google's leaders have repeatedly indicated their hostility to accountability of most any type.

Listen to Google's own words to learn about their unique and unabashed corporate culture-of-unaccountability.

"New investors will fully share in Google's long-term economic future but will have little ability to influence its strategic decisions through their voting rights." Google's 2004 IPO letter to prospective shareholders from co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Questions to ask the EU and Google about the EU Antitrust Settlement

Below are questions for both the EU and Google, given the expected announcement soon of a proposed settlement of Google's alleged antitrust violations.

Questions for the EU:
Remedies Implications
: Since the EU's formal demand for Google to propose acceptable remedies for the abuses and harms that Google has caused would only be appropriate and legal if Google was indeed a monopoly, and in fact abused its monopoly, does the EU effectively consider Google a monopoly which has abused its market power?

Non-compliance penalty? Does the EU reserve the right to issue a formal Statement of Objections in the future if Google proves seriously non-compliant with the proposed monopoly abuse enforcement settlement?

Complainant review? What assurances will complainants have to ensure that Google's concessions are meaningful and real, and will not be easily gamed by Google because of the dearth of technical expertise on the EU enforcement staff?

Effect on other EU-Google Antitrust investigations? Will this monopoly abuse enforcement settlement have any effect on the conduct or outcome of the EU's investigation into Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior with Android and/or Google-Motorola's alleged abuse of standards essential patents?

Google Mocks the World

Google has no shame. This week Google sponsored a two-day summit in Los Angeles entitled: "Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition" and trumpeted Google's leadership in combating illicit networks, with no acknowledgement of Google's own uniquely atrocious track record of illicit network activity, and even worse, with no public acceptance of responsibility or remorse for Google's illicit behavior.

There is no question that Google's professed public goals of combating "narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing" are noble, needed and welcome. However, the serious problem here is Google's extreme cynicism and deceptive PR that they can burnish their global brand without having to practice what they preach.

Let's have the evidence speak for itself, because it proves that Google is its own worst enemy, in not doing what they say.

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