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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-08-30 18:56
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-08-08 11:51
In writing "Internet Pirates Will Always Win," Nick Bilton, The New York Times's technology columnist whom I read and respect, has unwisely adopted the political logic and public narrative of the piracy lobby that "information wants to be free." Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Bilton has fully thought through the serious negative implications of his flawed logic and misplaced political support.
Mr. Bilton is not the first, and won't be the last, columnist to buy into the piracy lobby's deceptive political narrative that fighting piracy is akin to a futile game of Whac-a-mole, so content creators should just unilaterally surrender the concept of market pricing of their content going forward and offer it free to the public on the Internet or at a minimal price that Internet pirates judge is "fair." Mr. Bilton concluded: "Sooner or later, the people who still believe they can hit the moles with their slow mallets might realize that their time would be better spent playing an entirely different game."
The unspoken "different game" here is that the Internet should be more of a public information commons where everything is free of cost to access, and no permission or contract is required to do most anything on the Internet, in stark contrast to being more of an Internet marketplace where property owners of all kinds can charge for and contractually control the use of their property and individuals can assert control over how their private information is used.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-08-06 11:51
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's Culture of Unaccountability: In their Own Words -- (Google Unaccountability Series: Part II)Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-08-01 10:54
We learn about Google's culture-of-unaccountability from Google itself. Google's leaders have repeatedly indicated their hostility to accountability of most any type.
Listen to Google's own words to learn about their unique and unabashed corporate culture-of-unaccountability.
"New investors will fully share in Google's long-term economic future but will have little ability to influence its strategic decisions through their voting rights." Google's 2004 IPO letter to prospective shareholders from co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-07-24 19:43
Below are questions for both the EU and Google, given the expected announcement soon of a proposed settlement of Google's alleged antitrust violations.
Questions for the EU:
Non-compliance penalty? Does the EU reserve the right to issue a formal Statement of Objections in the future if Google proves seriously non-compliant with the proposed monopoly abuse enforcement settlement?
Complainant review? What assurances will complainants have to ensure that Google's concessions are meaningful and real, and will not be easily gamed by Google because of the dearth of technical expertise on the EU enforcement staff?
Effect on other EU-Google Antitrust investigations? Will this monopoly abuse enforcement settlement have any effect on the conduct or outcome of the EU's investigation into Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior with Android and/or Google-Motorola's alleged abuse of standards essential patents?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-07-23 15:17
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-07-20 11:47
Google has no shame. This week Google sponsored a two-day summit in Los Angeles entitled: "Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition" and trumpeted Google's leadership in combating illicit networks, with no acknowledgement of Google's own uniquely atrocious track record of illicit network activity, and even worse, with no public acceptance of responsibility or remorse for Google's illicit behavior.
There is no question that Google's professed public goals of combating "narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing" are noble, needed and welcome. However, the serious problem here is Google's extreme cynicism and deceptive PR that they can burnish their global brand without having to practice what they preach.
Let's have the evidence speak for itself, because it proves that Google is its own worst enemy, in not doing what they say.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-07-17 11:00
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-07-12 11:56
If one fact-checks and puts in perspective the FTC's expected $22.5m privacy fine of Google -- for bypassing millions of Apple Safari users' privacy and security settings to add a tracking cookie to track users browsing activity -- it looks like faux FTC accountability of Google. Close scrutiny of the FTC's oversight record of Google's exceptionally bad consumer record and very long privacy rap sheet suggests that Google could have little to fear from the FTC on pending privacy or antitrust enforcement going forward, despite PR and optics to the contrary. Unfortunately, the evidence to date indicates the FTC's enforcement oversight of Google has had minimal accountability or deterrent effect on Google's behavior.
To be fair to the FTC, the FTC does not have all the legal authority it needs to fully address the Google privacy enforcement problem, but that being acknowledged, many poor FTC decisions have further self-limited the FTC's ability to confront the exceptional Google enforcement problem.
I. Google appears to enjoy faux FTC Accountability.
Googleopoly IX: Google-Motorola's Patents of Mass Destruction -- Reneging on Competitively-Essential Contract Arrangements is Patently Anti-CompetitiveSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-07-10 11:42