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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.

Mounting evidence of Googleopoly...


Evidence continues to mount that the Google-DoubleClick merger presents serious anti-competitive concerns.

Let me share a series of antitrust developments over the last several days that cumulatively are very significant.

First, and most ominous, is that Yahoo, the weak #2 in the search market, which used to use Google's search engine, has been actively considering exiting the search business and outsourcing to #1 dominant Google or distant #3 Microsoft, because investors want the greatly expanded investment returns such a revenue-enhancing and cost cutting move would generate for shareholders.  

Dept. of Justice opposes net neutrality in FCC comments

The US Department of Justice in comments to the FCC said that it is opposed to "net neutrality" per an AP story.

Now both the US Department of Justice and The US Federal Trade Commission, the agencies legally responsible for investigating anti-competitive practices, officially have stated opposition to net neutrality regulation/legislation. 

Google should be hearing EU antitrust footsteps...

It is never a good omen for a merger's approval outlook, when EU antitrust authorities can't wait to investigate the impact of the merger and proactively inititiate their own antitrust investigation -- before their official process even gets started.

Google's antitrust lawyers have to be bummed by the development reported by Reuters that: "EU questions customers over Google-DoubleClick deal."

Google as editor of content and defender of free speech...when convenient

The Financial Times had a noteworthy article about Google's role as an editor of content and defender of free speech -- when Google finds it convenient: "Thailand lifts Youtube ban after Google agrees to block some clips."

This article is an interesting juxtaposition to Google CEO Eric Schmidt's very recent comments on the importance of free speech at a speech before the Progress and Freedom Foundation

  • "We need to defend freedom of speech as more speech comes on line. ...Let’s do this in the right way. Let’s preserve the openness and the freedom of speech principles. You could use Internet censorship, for example, as a non-tariff trade barrier, which we all need to fight because governments, especially non-U.S. governments, have an incentive to some degree to control the populations -- to do all the things that are obvious if you’re afraid of empowering your citizens."

 The FT article is a good opportunity to review if Google's actions support Google's rhetoric when it comes to Google defending free speech...

Online ad trends show the huge stakes in the Google-Doubleclick merger

A major reason why the stakes are so high in the FTC's review of the Google-DoubleClick merger is how remarkably fast online advertising is overtaking other advertising industry segments that have been around for decades.

An important development occurred just before the long Labor day weekend that I didn't want people to miss. Media Daily News reported that: "Internet displaces radio as fourth largest ad medium."

Economist's "Inside the Googleplex" is highly relevant to FTC's review of Google-DoubleClick

I always enjoy reading the Britain-based Economist's take on things American because they bring a detached, across-the-pond, critical perspective that often is very illuminating.

Relevant to Google-DoubleClick merger:  

Why conservatives care about antitrust enforcement

As a conservative, I embrace antitrust law as both a necessary law and as a time-tested, light-touch, free-market arbiter mechanism to prevent potential monopolization in the marketplace.

I also embrace antitrust enforcement as a conservative, because it is an outstanding mechanism to preserve free market competition and protect it from the natural inclination of Big Government to over-reach with its heavy hand of regulation.

Greg Sidak of Georgetown University and Hal Singer of Criterion Economics have produced an outstanding editorial in the Washington Times on this subject concerning the proposed XM-Sirius merger. I recommend that every conservative who cares about limited government should read it.

  • In one sentence, Greg and Hal bring tremendous clarity of thought to this important marketplace distinction:
    • "...conservatives should also reject the idea of taking two unregulated competitors and creating in their place a brand-new regulated monopoly through the merger approval process."
      • In other words, soft antitrust enforcement is raw meat bait for the ravenous regulatory appetite of those who favor Big Government.

This explains why as a conservative, I have been so focused philosophically on highlighting the anti-competitive effects of the Google-DoubleClick merger and why I believe the FTC will ultimately block that transaction.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths