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Antitrust

Does U.S. Antitrust Law Apply to Google?

Summary

How the DOJ and FTC handle two high-profile Google market behaviors that appear on their face to violate two different U.S. antitrust precedents, will speak volumes to the world about whether U.S. antitrust law still applies to Google, or not.

First, does the DOJ believe that the new search partnership between #3 Yahoo and #1 Google -- in the highly-concentrated U.S. search market -- is anti-competitive like the DOJ concluded previously in opposing the 2008 proposed Google-Yahoo search partnership?

Is Google-Alphabet’s Restructuring about Antitrust and Privacy After All?

The world’s self-professed know-it-all apparently does know a lot more than we do.

This piece assembles the evidence that Google’s benign PR explanation and stock-enhancement justification for its Alphabet holding company restructuring -- may be the truth, but apparently is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth, about the structural antitrust and privacy risks ahead that it clearly foresees, but is not disclosing.

What we have learned in the last two months is that Google is much more worried than it says about the risks it faces from a variety of real structural changes it may have to make in its core business overseas in the months and years ahead -- where the vast majority of Google’s users are, and from where over 50% of its revenues come.

FCC’s Double Standard Merger Review Also Warrants Antitrust Modernization

U.S. merger review double standards are not smart.

Kudos to Senators Mike Lee and Orin Hatch, and Rep. Blake Farenthold for their leadership and wisdom in advancing the SMARTER Act, H.R. 5402, “Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules.”

Senators Lee and Hatch are right in exposing that there is no good reason for companies to have to confront different standards in enforcing our nation’s laws at the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. Specifically, Senator Hatch hits the nail on the head in saying, “businesses seeking to merge deserve consistent treatment without regard to which agency decides to review the merger.”

It is common sense that companies in every industry should be able to know in advance what consistent antitrust/competition standard they will face if they decide to merge or acquire.

What is not common sense is that only U.S. communications companies must also suffer a second merger review double standard – the FCC’s Public Interest Test (PIT) for mergers. 

Other sectors do not face the redundant burden of securing antitrust agency approval and an additional approval froman independent regulator.

Google Buys Jibe to Force Android as Web’s Default Means of Communications

Don’t miss the sweeping antitrust, privacy, security, and EU-U.S. Data Safe Harbor ramifications of Google-Android’s power grab and highly-strategic acquisition last week of Jibe Mobile’s “Rich Communications Suite” (RCS), the world’s leading, mobile-carrier, messaging platform/standard.

Summary

Simply, Google has just acquired the single missing strategic piece holding Google back from being able to centralize the recording, data transfer and analysis of most global mobile communications like it has already centralized the collection, data transfer, and indexing of the world’s digital information.

Top Ten Questions about FTC-Google-Android Antitrust Probe

The U.S. FTC has opened an antitrust probe of Google’s Android mobile operating system per Bloomberg reporting to investigate allegations that Google has anti-competitively limited competitive services on the Google-Android platform and extended its market power by favoring Google services over competitors’.

Top Ten Questions Raised by FTC’s Google-Android Probe     

Google’s Internet Association Hypocritically Begs Digital Protectionism

The juxtaposition of Google tacitly accusing the EU with “digital protectionism” and “discrimination” as the EU’s Digital Chief, Günther Oettinger, visits D.C. and Silicon Valley, while the Google-created Internet Association this week asks for U.S. protection from ISP “discrimination” in an appeals court brief in support of the FCC’s Open Internet order – exposes exceptional hypocrisy.

Antitrust and privacy regulators around the world weren’t born yesterday. They know Google and its online platform allies want it both ways – manipulating policy to advantage them and disadvantage their potential competitors.

Google Epitomizes Cyber Systemic Risk

Google’s unprecedented concentration of most all Web information, services, users, publishers, advertisers and developers, in combination with Google’s extensive track record of unethical, illegal, and predatory behavior, makes Google the epitome of

What is Cyber Systemic Risk?

“Cyber systemic risk” is Internet-driven risk that threatens to destroy the business viability of industry ecosystems.

While cybersecurity risk may be the familiar and recognizable type of cyber systemic risk, it is only recognizable like the tip of an iceberg is recognizable, because most cyber systemic risk lurks well out of view, deep beneath the surface in the ocean of virtual ones and zeros.

“Cyber systemic risk” generally is the Internet version of the financial crisis’ hard lesson of “systemic risk,” where the world learned that risks or disruptions to one or a few financial institutions could cascade to become risks or disruptions to the broader financial ecosystem. That’s because the inherent inter-linkages and inter-dependencies of financial institutions’ debt and liquidity exposed the then underappreciated fragility of the interwoven financial system.

The financial crisis exposed the need and the requirement for corporations to be more vigilant concerning enterprise risk management (ERM). Consequently the next crisis exposing enterprise risk is less likely to happen from a replay of known financial systemic risks, but from new unappreciated or ignored cyber systemic risks.

Cyber systemic risk is arguably more serious than financial systemic risk. That’s because the Internet inherently is: the most inter-linked, inter-dependent, intermediary system ever created; an insecure and un-private system; and more centralized and concentrated at the top than the financial ecosystem.

Google Consolidating its Dominance at Unprecedented Rates - 2012-2015 Chart

The modern world has never before seen a company with the scale, scope, reach and speed of Google’s business dominance. Expect Google’s antitrust problems to proliferate with its proliferating dominance and abuses.

Google has extended and consolidated its unprecedented dominance at unprecedented rates over the last ~three years.

No other company has ever grown several separate and very different, stand-alone verticals simultaneously, by several hundred million users each, in less than ~three years.

Please Read The Most Important Google Article I’ve Ever Read

 

The single most important Google accountability article I have ever read, out of the literally ten thousand plus that I have read in my nine years researching Google in depth, is Dr. Robert Epstein’s article in Politico entitled “How Google could rig the 2016 election.

Anyone, who has any interest in, or concern about, the integrity of elections in democracies in the digital age, and/or Google’s market power over what information people access, must read this article.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths