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Google’s Antitrust Hardball Plans for the EU?

Apparently Google is preparing to play political hardball in opposing: the EU’s antitrust Statement of Objections against Google for abusing its 90% dominance of search by anti-competitively favoring Google Shopping over competitive shopping services; and its new antitrust investigation of Google’s Android operating system for anti-competitive tying and bundling of Google services.   

EU Antitrust Endgame is Google-Android Platform Neutrality

Most have missed entirely the broader significance of the EC-DGComp’s laser-focused Google Statement of Objections (that charge Google is dominant in search and is abusing that dominance in Google Shopping by self-dealing via preferencing Google content over competitors’ content) in the broader context of the EU’s new “platform neutrality” principle to advance a European Single Digital Market.

To date, Google is the only digital company that the EC-DGComp has found to be an abusively dominant “platform” warranting a non-discrimination remedy that Google cannot self-deal. A primary allegation driving the EC’s new antitrust investigation of the Google-Android platform is that Google self-deals by design in requiring Google Search and other Google apps to be offered to users by default on Android.

The significance of what DGComp and the EU do on Google-Android “platform neutrality” could turn out to be the single most important element long term for the European Single Digital Market.

Why?

Android is rapidly becoming Europe’s (and most of the world’s) single dominant digital operating system that increasingly will have the market power to dictate who wins and who loses throughout the markets for digital devices, the Internet of things, the connected home, the connected car, etc.

EU Charges Spotlight Google’s Self-Dealing Power

Facts belie Google’s rote denials that it is dominant, and that favoring its own content over competitors is anti-competitive in the EU. As this post will prove below, the public facts are overwhelming that Google is dominant and self-dealing.

But first, look closely and witness that the entirety of Google’s antitrust defense is essentially political -- that the EU’s antitrust law and precedent shouldn’t be different or tougher than America’s. Specifically, Google essentially is arguing that the EU shouldn’t have a lower market share threshold to be legally considered dominant and the EU shouldn’t have presumption in law that if dominant, the dominant company has “a special responsibility not to allow its conduct to impair competition on the common market.”

That’s wishful whining; it is not a legal antitrust defense in Europe.

It is only fitting that Google faces a Danish prosecutor in EC VP Margrethe Vestager. That’s because Google currently is acting out the role of emperor in the most famous Danish fable by Hans Christian Anderson, the “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

EU-Google Antitrust Charges – Google’s Hidden #1 Problem

Google’s biggest problem is not being charged with violation of antitrust laws in Europe; its biggest problem is a gross violation of trust of its roughly two billion users.

Googlegate II: The Evidence DOJ Made Google Criminal Case Go Away

The FTC’s politically messy closure of the FTC-Google antitrust investigation in 2013, chronicled in “Googlegate: the FTC Cover-up Evidence Piles Up,” is not the only major Federal investigation into Google’s business practices that Google’s political influence appears to have made go away in 2013.

Googlegate -- The FTC Cover-up Evidence Piles Up

The FTC’s Googlegate cover-up problem is that while the FTC may be telling the truth, they apparently are not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Don’t miss the brief summary below of the role political influence played in the politically messy closure of the FTC-Google antitrust investigation in 2013.

The evidence of FTC special treatment for Google, coupled with an apparent FTC cover-up of the political influence that may have defanged the FTC’s investigative process, is particularly relevant to: the European Commission’s current antitrust investigation of Google’s abuses of its <90% dominance in Europe; reported U.S. Senate oversight interest in the FTC’s closure of the Google investigation; and Mississippi AG Jim Hood’s State-led antitrust and consumer protection investigation of Google.

The Appearance of Google-USG Conflicts of Interest Grows

 

Public evidence concerning the amount of special access Google has to the highest reaches of the U.S. Government creates at least the appearance that the U.S. Government’s business may not be “conducted with impartiality and integrity” as required under Federal ethics rules.

How America Protects National Champion Google in the EU -- Daily Caller

Please don’t miss my Daily Caller  op-ed: “How America Protects National Champion Google in the EU”

  • It spotlights the facts of how exceptionally integrated Google has become with the U.S. Government on most all of the commercial matters most critical to Google’s business success.

 

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Google Unaccountability Series

Part 0: Google's Poor & Defiant Settlement Record [5-1-12]

Part 1: Why Google Thinks It Is Above the Law [4-17-12]

Why is Google Obstructing Justice in Mississippi? EC Pay Attention

Google’s recent bullying and intimidating behavior in Mississippi looks terrible and smells bad.

Consider for yourself if Google’s corporate behavior in Mississippi is how innocent people or a responsible corporation act, if they have: a clear conscience, done nothing wrong, or nothing to hide?

What is going on in Mississippi that warrants close outside attention?

Google has filed an highly-unusual, and hyper-aggressive lawsuit in federal court to try and quash a Mississippi Attorney General’s subpoena investigating Google’s alleged willful, continued, aiding and abetting of many criminal activities via advertising, given that it has found initial evidence to indicate that the criminal behavior that Google admitted to in a 2011 $500m DOJ Non-Prosecution Agreement may be continuing to this day.

FCC Title II Internet Regulation: “Believe it or not!”

With due credit toRipley's Believe it or Not!, so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the "name" of “Title II utility regulation of the Internet ” that the topic calls for its own collection of: Believe it or Not!®oddities.

In seeking comment for what is the best FCC legal authority to enforce net neutrality, Section 706, Title II, etc., the FCC has completely ignored the most obvious solution – asking Congress -- the source of all its existing authority -- for the new authority the FCC believes it needs!

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths