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Google's Global Antitrust Rap Sheet -- Google Now Has Violated Antitrust Laws in 10 Different Ways

Given that Google has just submitted detailed antitrust remedies to rectify the EU's findings that Google has abused its market dominance in four different ways, and given that earlier this year the FTC found that Google violated antitrust laws in a fifth different way, it is instructive and important to simply chronicle all of Google antitrust violations in one place to let the consistency, breadth, and seriousness of Google's anti-competitive behavior sink in.

Please don't miss: "Google's Global Antitrust Rap Sheet" -- here.

First, it shows that Google has violated antitrust laws in TEN DIFFERENT ways over the last five years!

Second, Google is under antitrust scrutiny, investigation, or supervision in NINE DIFFERENT countries and the EU.

  • It is telling that most everywhere Google goes antitrust scrutiny or other trouble with the law follows.

The obvious takeaway here is Google is a global serial antitrust offender and recidivist.

The Google Lobby Defines Big Internet's Policy Agenda -- Part 6 Internet as Oz Series

Google not only dominates the web, the Google Lobby also dominates Big Internet's policy agenda in Washington in part via its new proxy, the Internet Association, the self-appointed "unified voice of the Internet economy."

Since market dominance attracts antitrust scrutiny, it necessitates lobbying dominance. The FTC's antitrust investigation prompted Google to hire twelve lobbying firms in a week and to rapidly organize them and legions of law and PR firms into one of the top corporate lobbying operations influencing Washington. Tellingly, a Wall Street Journal op-ed lionized "Google's $25 Million Bargain" lobby and Politico got behind-the-scenes to explain "How Google Beat the Feds."

Top Takeaways from FTC's Google Antitrust Decisions -- Part 16 Google Unaccountability Series

Summary of Top Takeaways from the FTC's Google Antitrust Decisions:

  1. Google's U.S. search bias win establishes a broad Internet-friendly FTC antitrust enforcement precedent.
  2. Google has already lost on search bias in the EU.
  3. Those harmed by anti-competitive behavior are now much less likely to seek redress from the FTC.
  4. The FTC effectively has redefined self-regulation to include self-enforcement too, establishing a new de-facto FTC "honor system" for potential Section 5 Internet antitrust problems.
  5. The FTC's decision effectively makes the FTC Section 5 authority largely irrelevant in Internet enforcement going forward.
  6. The FTC's Standards Essential Patents consent order means Google's core reason for buying Motorola has backfired and the primary perceived benefit of the acquisition is largely nullified.
  7. Google's 2013 enforcement risk is centered in the EU on antitrust, privacy and intellectual property.

1. Google's U.S. search bias win establishes a broad Internet-friendly FTC antitrust enforcement precedent.

Top Ten Unanswered Questions on FTC-Google Antitrust Outcome -- Google Unaccountability Series Part 15

The FTC's reported closing of its Google search bias investigation with no real enforceable settlement mechanism and a special new self-enforcement antitrust precedent apparently only available to Google, raises serious questions about the integrity of the FTC's law enforcement process and whether the FTC accords Google with special treatment not available to other companies.

This matter raises many more troubling questions than the top ten unanswered questions raised in this piece, but these questions zero in on many of the most glaring irregularities for Congressional overseers, the media and government watchdogs to follow up on.

Google's Twelve Days of Christmas -- A Satire

Please sing to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

On the twelfth day of Christmas the FTC gave to me:

Twelve winkers winking

Eleven fibbers fibbing

Ten bluffs a bluffing

Nine Google's poodles

Eight flacks a flacking

Seven fawns a fawning

Six cov-er-ups

No enforce-ment! ...

Four lap-dog-gies

Three big passes

Two lame-ex-cuses

Troubling Irregularities Mount in FTC Commissioners' Handling of Google Antitrust Investigation -- Part 14 Google Unaccountability Series

The mounting number of unprecedented, inexplicable, and troubling irregularities in the FTC's cumulative law enforcement record of Google warrants oversight by Congress and renewed vigilance by other law enforcement officials -- State Attorneys General, the DOJ, and the European Commission -- in order to maintain the integrity and deterrent value of the antitrust law enforcement process.

Each of the following sets of facts and circumstances in the FTC's law enforcement experience with Google have raised eyebrows, together there is head-shaking cumulative evidence that reeks of either special treatment for Google or political interference by Google in the process.

Consider the following evidence to judge for yourself if something appears amiss here.

Only Google has been able to get FTC commissioners to twice politically overrule staff recommendations to prosecute after in-depth antitrust investigations, in approving Google-AdMob despite "serious concerns," and in rushing to close the current Google search bias investigation without seeking the most incriminating evidence available.

Copyright Reform or Neutering? Depends If Baby's Thrown Out with Bathwater? -- Part 5 Defending First Principles Series

Current attempts to deem consensus around copyright legislation appear contrived and one-sided because they isolate a particular copyright problem out of context of the other countervailing problems with copyright law. TechFreedom's event this week asks: "CopyRIGHT: Can Free-Marketers Agree on Copyright Reform?"

The initial question for free marketeers will be whether the goal here is true "reform" that addresses the full range of real copyright problems for copyright holders, users, and intermediaries, or if the goal is more about a one-sided "neutering" of copyright by those who don't believe in intellectual property rights at all, and/or those who politically seek a property-less and permission-less Internet commons (i.e. the "information wants to be free" tech-left of Professor Lessig's Free Culture/CopyLeft movement and the Google-led Internet lobby.)

My Op-ed for The Hill: Courts Not FTC Should Decide on Google's Practices

Please don't miss my new Op-ed for The Hill here, entitled "Courts, Not FTC, Should Decide On Google Practices."

Simply, why shouldn't a court of law, based on the law, due process and the facts be the entity to ultimately decide if Google is guilty or innocent of deceptive search bias, not the FTC?


 

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