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Competition

"Pro-trust" EU Competition Remedies for Google's Antitrust Violations

Google remains its own worst enemy in trying to resolve EU antitrust charges.

In early 2012, when Google was trying to convince EU antitrust authorities that enforcement action against Google's search practices -- preferring its own content in search ranking over competitors -- would only harm consumers and was unnecessary because competition was but "a click away" for consumers, Google announced it would consolidate 60 privacy policies without user permission or user choice to opt-out, and then did it a month later, over the EU's strong objections.

This was a flagrant strategic mistake because: first the EU prides itself for strong consumer privacy laws and privacy protections; second the EU fully-understands that consumers' privacy is the de facto currency that Google uses to propel its monopoly; and third Google's primary antitrust defense is that they are the ones that are best looking out for consumers interests and that consumers have plenty of choice.

Will Google Become SoftBank-Sprint's Silent Partner?

Like most analysts, I am not persuaded by the stated rationale and synergies SoftBank has put forth to justify its acquisition of Sprint. At bottom the deal is financial engineering: balance sheet and exchange rate arbitrage; and market timing. It appears to be a financial partnership, not the stated strategic partnership.

SoftBank hopes its shareholders will imagine that the 2013 and beyond U.S. experience of a maturing wireless smart-phone market and Sprint's late-iPhone-entrant role will somehow be analogous to SoftBank's iPhone first-mover experience in 2008 Japan. That's like asserting rock-climbing uphill is analogous with sliding downhill because they both involve hills.

U.S. Falling behind the World in Auctioning Broadband Spectrum -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

See my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "U.S. Falling behind the World in Auctioning Broadband Spectrum" here.

This is part 12 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

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.

The FCC's 1887 Railroad Regulation Mindset -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "The FCC's 1887 Railroad Regulation Mindset" here. This piece is part 10 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

FCC Showcases Its Growing Obsolescence -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "The FCC Showcases its Growing Obsolescence" here. This piece is part 9 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

Part 2: "The FCC's Public Interest Test Problem"

Netcompetition Press Release on FCC's Obsolete Section 706 Report

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- August 21, 2012

Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407

The FCC's Obsolete Section 706 Report

Obsolete law and technological assumptions yield nonsensical reporting requirements

WASHINGTON D.C. – Concerning the FCC's release of its Section 706 report on "Advanced Telecommunications Incentives," the following quotes may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition.org:

 

Who but Google is Thriving in Online Advertising?

Evidence abounds that the industry business model of online advertising, minus Google, is shockingly weak competitively, given how many people assume advertising is supposed to be the viable competitive monetization engine that will sustain the "free and open Internet" long term.

Anyone open to connecting-the-dots of recent public evidence will see an obvious dichotomy: Google is thriving, while much of the rest of the online advertising industry is struggling despite unprecedented: opportunity to reach users, technological efficiencies, and access to troves of private data to target ads to produce more revenue growth.

Examine the accumulating troubling evidence of how weak online advertising competition has become.

The Internet Advertising Bureau's latest reporting of 15% online advertising growth for the industry in 1Q12 masks the large Google vs. competitor revenue growth dichotomy. Given that Google grew 24% 1Q12 and comprises almost half of all U.S. online advertising per eMarketer, I calculate that the rest of the online advertising industry is growing only about 8%. That means Google is growing three times faster than its online competitors and continues to take market share at an accelerating rate.

Google Fiber: Modern Technology, but Obsolete Policy Thinking

Please see my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "Google Fiber: Modern Technology, but Obsolete Policy Thinking" here.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

FCC's Over-Reliance on Obsolete Law - My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "FCC's Over-Reliance on Obsolete Law" here. It spotlights the FCC's clear pattern of relying on obsolete law and non-existing statutory authority.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths