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More on how #1 Google's Internet tentacles reach and "hold" onto #4's "private" data

ITNews has an interesting take in its piece "Google keeps what erases."

  • "AskEraser may remove user search query data from's servers, but deleted data may live on, in part at least, on Google's servers. That's because Google delivers the bulk of the ads on, based on information provided by Ask.."

 I flag this in the context of the Google-DoubleClick merger because not only does Google:

  • Have dominant search market share (65% per Hitwise);
  • Enjoy exceptional network effects;
  • It's hidden market power tentacles reach farther than most appreciate...
    • What the ITNews article tells us is that there is a whole hidden layer of market power/influence by the #1 search engine over its #4 "competitor." 

The market is even less competitive than I outlined in my Googleopoly white paper.

It reminds the astute watcher of how Microsoft used non-disclosed contractual arrangements to acquire more market power in the 1990's...

To understand net neutrality's principal flaw -- imagine "neutral" health care...

If you want to test the validity, appropriateness or reasonableness of a so-called inviolate "principle" like net neutrality, it can be instructive to apply that principle in a different context to see if it makes sense.

What if we passed a law that all health care had to be neutral?

  • That all patient treatment always had to be just the same?  
  • That any prioritization of patient treatment would be deemed illegal discrimination?

What would be the nonsensical result of such a broad imposition of a "neutral" medical treatment mandate?

When CNet questions others motives it needs to have clean hands in its own disclosures

While I am a frequent and usually appreciative reader of CNet's Declan McCullagh Iconoclast column, I have to challenge Declan's recent piece "House Republican targets Google on Privacy Grounds"  when he questions the motives of the Senior Republican of the House Commerce Committee for caring about privacy in the Google-DoubleClick merger, when Declan and CNET did not disclose that Declan's wife now works for Google.

I was also surprised and dismayed that Declan's post included a CNet chart from August to try and put Google in the best light on privacy but did not mention the other side of the coin -- that Privacy International study recently ranked Google as worst in the world on privacy issues.


Super ZDNet piece opposing net neutrality -- "Save Internet Freedom -- from Regulation"

Larry Downes produced an outstanding analysis for ZDNet today which he entitled "Save Internet Freedom -- From Regulation."

I strongly recommend it as it is one of the most cogent and persuasive pieces I have read in a long time on the subject.

He does a great service by putting the issue into much clearer context -- vis-a-vis other industries and past attempts to regulate where the government shouldn't have. 

Google share increases -- evidence continues to mount that this market has tipped to dominance

With the Google-DoubleClick merger reportedly in the final decision phase at the FTC, it will be interesting to learn what they ultimately conclude and if they have been monitoring recent market developments closely.  

In my Googleopoly analysis published in July, I explained in detail why the search market had already tipped to dominance and why Yahoo and Microsoft would continue to fall behind Google.

The incoming evidence continues to prove my Googleopoly analysis was dead on.

  • Information Week reported that per Hitwise: Google's search market share increased in the last year from 61.84% to 65.1%, while during the same period Yahoo's share fell 1.22% and Microsoft's share fell 2.73%. 
    • To put that in perspective, in the last year alone per Hitwise, Yahoo lost 5% of its overall share while Microsoft lost a whopping 28% of its overall share. Whoa.
    • Not the kind of facts that are easy to ignore.
  • Comscore has Google's share at 58.5% and also reports that Yahoo and Google are losing share. To put this in perspective again, Comscore had Google share at only 36.5% in April 2005.

There has been some reporting of's new program "search eraser" which is a great new feature to help protect people's privacy that want it.

More guilty-until-proven-innocent regulation from Google's Poodles; new petition on texting regulation

The Washington Post reports that a consortium of Google's closest net neutrality allies: FreePress/, Public Knowledge, New America Foundation, Media Access Project, are poised to petition the FCC again, this time to mandate that wireless carriers deliver all text messages to their customers, even including text messages by wireless competitors trying to sell their competing wireless services.

Engineers: P2P is not "fair" usage; Reverse Robin Hood: Bandwidth rich steal from bandwidth poor

Three times a year the Internet Engineering Task Force meets to discuss and work through major Internet issues.

  • To my delight, one of the technical issues they recently discussed has great import to net neutrality and the FreePress petition on Comcast's reasonable network management.
  • Kudos to Iljitsch van Beijnum who wrote "Growth of P2P leads IETF to debate "fair" bandwidth use" in ars technica.
    • His excellent article explains a new paper being debated by the IETF that raises the core question, if the voracious bandwidth appetite of P2P is "fair" to non P2P users.

The paper and the article point out that users of "unattended" P2P applications use dramatically more bandwidth than users of "interactive" applications like web browsing -- and then poses the question of whether this excess usage is fair. 

Van Beijnum points out that the paper's authors suggest that P2P users are using 500 times the bandwidth as average interactive users. Moreover, he points out that this assymetric bandwidth dynamic disincents an ISP from upgrading their network because the assymetry would make them even less competitive. 

The fundamental point here is a question of fairness.

It's unreasonable for 1 "bandwidth hippo" out of every 10,000 users to gobble up everyone's bandwidth!

Another reason why the FreePress petition to block Comcast's reasonable network managment is so unreasonable is that it puts the bandwidth gluttony of a very few ahead of the needs of everyone else on the network.

The core premise and expectation behind the FreePress petition is outrageous and unreasonable.

  • The people are essentially asking for radical net neutrality, which refuses to recognize Comcast's responsibility to reasonably manage network bandwidth scarcities to ensure that the few excessive abusers of bandwidth do not ruin the usability and responsiveness for the overwhelming majority of its Internet users.

Let's put Comcast's network management problem in perspective.

Great new analogy why Net neutrality is an irrational policy in a new The Hill editorial

I always enjoy learning about a new fresh take on an old issue.

Kudos to Dr. Daniel Ballon who wrote a great editorial on net neutrality for The Hill newspaper: "Net neutrality punishes everyone for Comcast's actions."  

He recounts a great analogy about how "neutral" networks on Black Monday, the stock market crash of October 19, 1987, was made worse by a traffic jam of orders that couuld not be managed in an orderly fashion to keep the stock market functioning and open.

  • "After Black Monday, exchanges recognized the need to create “express lanes” and prioritize traffic to ensure orderly market function. The chairman of the House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), also understood the benefits of placing “sensible speed limits on our market participants so that individual investors and our biggest market players can happily co-exist.” Markey recognized that neutral markets fail as predictably “as if we turned off all the nation’s stoplights,” and “made all speed limits voluntary.”

At its core, the policy of net neutrality, that all traffic is always treated equally no matter what is -- unreasonable, unwise, and irrational.

Google's not feeling the love from the state of California on net neutrality...

Two prominent Californians that matter recently did not side with home state Google on Google's pet policy crusade -- net neutrality. Awwwww. I feel bad for Google... 

Barrons reports in "Arnold drops net neutrality" that:

  • "THE GOVERNATOR HAS JOINED the net neutrality debate, throwing his political heft behind incumbent phone companies."...
  • "Google can't be pleased with its governor taking sides with the opposition. AT&T is based in San Antonio, Texas. Google is based in Mountain View, Calif. But Schwarzenegger is no fool. He knows who pays for his pipes."   Ouch.

Moreover, California Public Utility Commissioner Rachelle Chong wrote a great and thoughtful piece for the ACLI of the New York Law School that comprehensively debunks the call for net neutrality in: "The 31 flavors of the net neutrality debate: Beware of the Trojan Horse." Ouch. Ouch.