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Antitrust

Google Android Dominates by Cheating Data Protection

Google-Android sacrifices users’ security, privacy and data protection to scale Android fastest so that Google can dominate mobile software and advertising.

This charge and analysis is timely and relevant because Reuters is reporting that European Commission competition authorities are “laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.”

The purpose of this particular analysis is to help a user better understand how they are harmed by Google-Android’s disregard for data protection.

Six Ways the FTC is AWOL on Google

 

The mounting evidence indicates the FTC is AWOL on Google.

Currently there are no less than six important Google enforcement issues that that the FTC should be investigating, but apparently is not.  

In stark contrast, the EU has many serious problems with Google’s >90% dominance and its persistent disregard for Europe’s privacy, data protection and the right to be forgotten requirements.

An American Google enforcement vacuum stiffens the EU’s resolve and adds to the need and urgency for the EC to step in to preserve the rule of law in Europe.

An absentee FTC, which is largely ignoring consumer choice, also makes it harder for the U.S. to preserve the US-EU safe harbor for the handling of personal information in the pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Post-Snowden, the US and EU are far apart on data protection, and a glaringly absentee FTC only exacerbates that divide.

    

 

Why Handcuff the Next EC with a Bad Five-Year Google Deal? – An Open Letter to EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Perversely the proposed EC-Google Settlement would restrict the next EC much more than it would restrict Google.

The special Google deal would handcuff EC President-Designate Juncker’s #1 priorityto create a digital single market for consumers and businesses” and “to break down national silos… in data protection… and in competition law.”

The deal would protect Google’s current de facto digital single market from significant new EC digital competition for five years, because the deal would require the EC to shut down its Google search investigation for a five-year period.

Open Letter to Internet Association on Broadband Utility Regulation

 

Dear Executives of Internet Association Companies,

Have you thought through the global implications of your businesses’ public lobbying for regulating broadband like a public telephone utility? 

Possibly you are unaware that “The French government said it would push for a new European law later this year to classify Google and other Web giants like public utilities, forcing them to guarantee access to all services like phone operators. … We don’t want to become a digital colony of global Internet giants” said the French Economy Minister, per Wall Street Journal reporting.

As members of the global Internet giant association, and as global companies with large majorities of your current or future revenues coming from overseas, it could be beneficial to better think through the global implications of your high-profile policy support for new broadband utility regulation in the U.S.

NetCompetition Statement on AT&T-DirecTV Merger

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 18, 2014

Contact:  Scott Cleland 703-217-2407

 

The AT&T-DirecTV Merger Increases Competition & Consumer Choice, Providing:

A New Stronger Competitive Alternative to Cable’s Bundle; and

Google’s Anti-Competitive Rap Sheet Warrants Prosecution Not Leniency – An Open Letter to European Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

 

Would Interpol, or any EU prosecutor, ever recommend pursuing a lenient settlement with their overall #1 worst offender -- without extracting any punishment, restitution, admission of wrongdoing, or deterrent effect -- rather than prosecuting the worst offender to the full extent of the law?

Would any other prosecutor publicly threaten swift prosecution against a high-profile defendant repeatedly and then give the defendant three chances to settle over a period of several months when the defendant’s first two proposed remedies proved to be demonstrablydeceptive in market tests?  

Of course not! That would be antithetical to the fair, honest, and effective administration of justice.

Then why, after its own investigation found Google to be dominant, and to have abused its dominance in four distinct ways, is DGComp strongly advocating that Google be protected from prosecution for clear violations of EU competition law?

The Growing EC-Google Settlement Scandal – An Open Letter to European Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

The more the European Commission learns about the proposed EC-Google competition settlement, the less sense it makes, and the more scandalous it appears.  

Never has the European Commission been presented with such a controversial, perverse, and unreasonable competition settlement to approve. This is not how the EC’s law enforcement process is supposed to work.

Everyone knows that a worthy settlement is a true compromise, where most parties gain something they need, and on balance support it as a reasonable net gain from the status quo. It is telling that virtually no one but Google is supporting this settlement outcome publicly or coming to Google’s defense. That fact should scream that this proposed settlement is not what it is represented to be.  

Sadly, this particular process and settlement has devolved into an indefensible and perverse spectacle that has brought unwelcome attention and ridicule to a critical EC law enforcement process that must be beyond reproach.

The reason the European Commission has yet to disapprove a DGComp proposed settlement, is that the European Commission has never been presented with a toxic settlement that is so perversely: anti-consumer; un-European; worse than the status quo; pro-dominance; tolerant of dominance abuses; and ineffective in achieving its main priority – “quick resolution.”

U.S. Wireless Competition Criticism “Believe it or not!”

With due credit to "Ripley's Believe it or Not!®," so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the "name" of "U.S. wireless competition criticism” that the topic calls for its own collection of: "Believe it or Not!®" oddities.

Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son, who bought Sprint for $21b in 2013 with public plans “to become the #1 company in the world,” tells U.S. regulators just eight months after he bought Sprint, that Softbank-Sprint cannot compete with either of America’s #1 and #2 wireless providers, Verizon and AT&T, unless Softbank can buy America’s #4 wireless provider -- T-Mobile! 

Google’s Extensive Cover-up

How come the company whose success depends entirely on the public being open, transparent and trusting towards Google, is so closed, secretive and distrusting toward the public?

How come the company with a mission to make the world’s information universally accessible, goes to such extraordinary lengths to cover up evidence in legal documents in public proceedings?

European media could learn an important lesson from their American media brethren about confronting Google’s extensive cover up of the evidence of their wrongdoing in legal proceedings.

In Europe, there was surprisingly little media pushback initially when Google and EC Vice President Joaquin Almunia first proclaimed a secret settlement of charges of Google’s abuse of its search dominance.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths