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July 2011

Netflix' Glass House Temper Tantrum over Broadband Usage Fees

Netflix continues to throw stones at the common economic practice of usage-based pricing, to which broadband carriers are naturally migrating, all while Netflix stands inside a glass house filled with mis-managed usage pricing practices. 

Netflix as Stone Thrower:

In a concerted campaign for net neutrality regulation that would ban broadband usage caps or pricing, Netflix has generated a:

Netflix as Glass House:

New Google WiSpy Misrepresentation Evidence -- Will FTC Reopen its Investigation?

New evidence, that Google's StreetView WiSpy cars collected and made public an additional category of sensitive consumer data (i.e the unique device identifiers or MAC addresses of consumers' personal smart phones and laptops) that was not previously known, strongly indicates that Google was deceptive with, and withheld essential evidence from, FTC WiSpy investigators last year. (The FTC's Section 5 authority states: "deceptive acts and practices...are...unlawful.")


  • Based on credible new evidence that directly contradicts Google's public representations, the FTC should reopen its Section 5 Google WiSpy investigation to determine if Google deceived consumers and/or FTC investigators about what private information Google actually collected and used that could potentially harm consumers.



I.  New evidence of Google deceptive acts:

Kudos to CNET's Declan McCullagh for his outstanding and detailed reporting that uncovered this new and relevant WiSpy misrepresentation evidence.


Google's Bad Neighbor Policy Towards Local Silicon Valley Merchants

Silicon Valley local merchants, who compete with Google Places, have complained to Silicon Valley's local paper, the San Jose Mercury News, that Google is effectively penalizing their online content so that in practice, no one can find them.



This could have the makings of another Google antitrust complaint of interest to the FTC and/or the California Attorney General to determine if Google is being:


  • Anti-competitive to an important local competitor to Google's own local offering, Google Places, or
  • Deceptive in its representations of being an unbiased information broker and never manipulating search results for its own commercial benefit.


Where Google is vulnerable here, is that it is forcing its own self-serving and unappealable standard of online "authority" (which drives Google's search ranking and reinforces Google's market power), on the Silicon Valley local shopping marketplace, smack in the face of common sense and real life commercial authority in the physical marketplace.



Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths