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Google-YouTube’s Internet Video Distribution Dominance -- Part XII of Googleopoly Research Series

Please click here for Google-YouTube's Internet Video Distribution Dominance -- Part XII of my seven-year, Googleopoly research series. 

  • This is must read for anyone interested in: Google antitrust; Google's liability for willful blindness to piracy and copyright infringement, and the legal implications of Google trying to solve its access-to-quality-video content-problem by acquisition of Dish, DirecTV or a major studio/TV network.

 

Google-YouTube’s Internet Video Distribution Dominance -- Part XII of Googleopoly Research Series

  • Why Internet video distribution competition is substantially lessened;
  • How Google-YouTube anti-competitively gained Internet video distribution dominance; &

  • Why a Google acquisition of Dish, DirecTV, or a major media company would likely be blocked

SUMMARY

 

The evidence is overwhelming that Google dominates Internet video distribution, by all relevant measures: scale, scope, growth, audience, consumption, distribution, advertisers, revenue, countries, and languages. 

 

The competitive facts indicate:

  • Internet video distribution is a separate market from offline video distribution.
  • None of the most likely Internet video distribution competitors -- Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon or Apple – present a significant competitive threat to Google-YouTube’s dominance;

  • There are substantial barriers to effective competition to Google-YouTube’s video distribution utility; and

  • There are unprecedented and unmatched viral Internet network effects at play.

 

There is sufficient evidence for DOJ to investigate alleged Google violations of the Clton and Sherman acts by extending its search advertising dominance into Internet video distribution:

  • Via acquisition of YouTube, DoubleClick, & AdMob in violation of Clayton Act;

  • Via a predatory copyright infringement strategy & willful blindness to undisputed mass YouTube piracy;

  • Via extending its search advertising dominance into video and video-utility services; and
  • Via anti-competitive exclusions.

At worst the evidence suggests a purposeful Google conspiracy of predatory copyright infringement, at best willful blindness by Google to profit from mass piracy. Given the substantial volumes of Google search traffic and advertising for pirated videos over a period of seven years, Google’s straight infringement liability could be many billions of dollars -- before treble damages. 

The most relevant ramification of Google-YouTube’s dominance and mass piracy liabilities is that securing antitrust and FCC approval for a potential Google acquisition of Dish, DirecTV or one of the major movie studios/TV networks, would be difficult, contentious and protracted, and more likely than not would be blocked by the government.

The DOJ, not the FTC, should investigate Google-YouTube given that:

  • DOJ reviewed the YouTube acquisition under the Clayton Act in 2006;

  • DOJ/FTC have a formal agreement that DOJ handles video media and entertainment due to superior subject expertise;

  • As the Government’s lawyer and prosecutor, only the DOJ has the full range of legal authority to address these allegations;  &
  • DOJ’s antitrust enforcement record vis-à-vis Google is demonstrably superior to the FTC’s.

 

OUTLINE

  1. Summary
  2. Google’s Internet Video Distribution Dominance
    1. Overview of Scale, Scope & Growth
    2. By the Numbers: Absolutely, Relatively & Growth
    3. In Their Own Words
    4. In Pictures --   

      By: Unique Viewers; Videos Viewed; Total Viewing Minutes; Streams; Mobile Downstream Share; Mobile Ad Revenues; Net Digital Ad Revenues; Growth Rate; Countries (53); & Languages (71)

  3. Internet Video Distribution Competition Evaluated
    1. Why Internet Video Distribution is a Separate Market
    2. Evaluation of leading competitors
    3. Substantial Barriers to Effective Competition
    4. Unmatched/Unprecedented Internet Network Effects
  4. How Google-Tube Anti-competitively Became Dominant
    1. Via acquisition of YouTube, DoubleClick, & AdMob in violation of Clayton Act
    2. Via a predatory copyright infringement strategy & willful blindness to undisputed mass YouTube piracy
    3. Via cross-leveraging and full-line forcing to create an Internet video distribution utility 
    4. Via anti-competitive exclusions
  5. Implications for Google M&A Plans in Video Distribution/Content
  6. Why DOJ Not FTC Should Investigate Google-YouTube 

Appendix:Bio, Research, Book

 

GOOGLEOPOLY RESEARCH SERIES

Googleopoly I: The Google-DoubleClick Anti-competitive Case – 2007

Googleopoly II: Google’s Predatory Playbook to Thwart Competition – 2008

Googleopoly III: Dependency: The Crux of the Google-Yahoo Ad Agreement Problem – 2008

Googleopoly IV: How Google Extends its Search Monopoly to Monopsony Control over Digital Info—2009

Googleopoly V: Why the FTC Should Block Google-AdMob – 2009

Googleopoly VI: Seeing the Big Picture: How Google is Monopolizing Consumer Internet Media –2010

Googleopoly VII:  Monopolizing Location Services – Why Skyhook is Google’s Netscape –2011

Googleopoly VIII: Google’s Deceptive and Predatory Search Practices – 2011

Googleopoly IX: Google-Motorola’s Patents of Mass Destruction -- 2012

Googleopoly X: Google’s Dominance is Spreading at an Accelerating Rate -- 2013

Googleopoly XI: a Satire: Grading Google’s Search Antitrust Remedies in EU Market Test – 2013

 

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths