You are here

Microsoft

Kohl: "Pretty explosive stuff" on hearing Microsoft's testimony of Yahoo's collusive admission

Blogging from the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, there was a very surprising development several minutes ago.

  • Chairman Kohl characterized as "pretty explosive stuff" how Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith recounted what Yahoo Ceo Jerry Yang told Microsoft last month in a meeting with several witnesses.
  • Per Microsoft's Smith: Jerry Yang said that the search market was "bi-polar" with Google on one pole and others on the other pole.
    • Yang indicated that Yahoo was going to join the Google "pole" because the other pole was not viable. 

Under oath, Senator Spector followed up on the Chairman's interchange and asked Brad Smith if he stood by this characterization of CEO Yang's "bipolar" comments -- and he replied "absolutely!"

  • When Senator Spector asked, in a prosecutor's style, if Yahoo's General Counsel  was at that meeting, he said he was but that he did "not recall" Yang's "bi-polar" comment and disagreed with Microsoft's characterization. 

As anyone in Washington appreciates, and Senators Kohl and Spector certainly appreciated, someone was not telling the truth.

  • I strongly believe that the DOJ will want to depose all the witnesses at that meeting, under oath and under penalty of perjury, about that comment and whether it is true or not. 

If Microsoft's testimony was true, which I believe it was, because of the serious personal risk of perjury to Mr. Smith, it is "pretty explosive stuff" as Chairman Kohl described. 

Debunking the Google-Yahoo Antitrust Myths

In advance of the Senate and House antitrust hearings on Google-Yahoo, I thought it would be useful to debunk some of the primary antitrust myths you will likely hear.

 

Myth #1: There can’t be an antitrust problem as long as consumers are just one click away from a competitive search engine.

Translating Yahoo's announcement to wholesale Yahoo's search

With Senate and House antitrust hearings on Google-Yahoo next Tuesday, the timing of Yahoo's new BOSS initiative, Build your Own Search Service, is designed to try and show that Yahoo is still trying to compete with Google after Yahoo partnered with Google "to enhance its ability to compete in the converging search and display marketplace."

Check out the 45 word "headline" on Yahoo's press release on BOSS. There will be a short quiz afterward.

  • "Yahoo! Opens Up Search Technology Infrastructure for Innovative, New Search Experiences, Providing Third Parties with Unprecedented Access, Re-Ranking and Presentation Control of Web Search Results"
    • Yahoo!'s New Open Web Services Platform, Yahoo! Search BOSS, Extends its Open Strategy and Fuels Disruption in the Search Landscape."

The Quiz:

Senate just scheduled Google-Yahoo antitrust hearing for 7-15

Just learned that the Senate Judiciary SubCommittee on Antitrust has scheduled a hearing on the Google-Yahoo agreement for Tuesday July 15th, at 10:30 am.

  • "The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing before the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights on “The Google-Yahoo Agreement and the Future of Internet Advertising” for Tuesday, July 15, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building. Chairman Kohl will preside. By order of the Chairman."

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to have a hearing that same afternoon on the Google-Yahoo deal, Internet competition and privacy.

 

 

Flagging the new Palatnik Factor Blog on online marketing

Pablo Palatnik, an online marketing expert, recently launched his own blog, the Palatnik Factor which I recommend; Pablo is also a contributing writer for the Search Engine Journal -- which is where I came accross his work when he wrote a dead on piece questioning "Google Adword's Quality score: affilitates worst nightmare." 

A couple of my recent pieces are particularly relevant to online marketers:

http://www.precursorblog.com/content/why-not-a-marketer-bill-rights-google-yahoo-cartel

http://www.precursorblog.com/content/google-adwords-not-neutral-charging-more-slow-loading-sites

Google-Yahoo partnership: Not if, but when it becomes anti-competitive

The new Google-Yahoo partnership to better converge the search and display markets is skating on thin antitrust ice that will only get thinner over time -- unless Microsoft or some unknown competitor somehow starts taking lots of market share from the new Goohoo. 

What are the important takeaways here? 

First, at core, the Google-Yahoo partnership is clearly about trying to snuff out Microsoft as a competitive force on the web. 

Unleashed: Transcript of Griffin/Cleland talk on Google, net neutrality, monopolies, click fraud, privacy

For those who like the written format, here is the link to the transcript of Chip Griffin's interview of me on all things Google.

This interview turned out to be one of the most comprehensive and in-depth discussions I have had on all things Google -- that's been captured for web listening or reading.

We discussed:

Unleashed! Why I focus so much on Google -- Listen to Chip Griffin's interview of me...

Here is the link to Chip Griffin's 28 minute interview of me on "Conversations with Chip Griffin," an in-depth conversation about many of the reasons why I believe Google is becoming such a big problem and why I personally spend so much time focused on Google.

I believe you will find it an informative, interesting, and entertaining interview covering all things Google, the online economy, net neutrality etc.

  • Enjoy!  

Why Google-Yahoo deal is collusion -- Yahoo's lifeblood in exchange for Google's caffeine

Microsoft's resumed interest in Yahoo's search business, suggests that Yahoo is close to outsourcing some of its search to Google. The antitrust implications of the world's #1 and #3 online advertising competitors, Google and Microsoft, fighting over the #2 competitor, Yahoo, has finally attracted serious media attention.

  • A Financial Times editorial: "Search for a rival" asks: "How do you spell Googlopoly?" (I spelled it with an 'e' in my www.googleopoly.net Google-Doubleclick analysis and Senate testimony.)
    • The FT: "Any deal that lets Google supply part of Yahoo’s search advertising, however it is dressed up, must be bad for competition." 
  • Today the New York Times', Steve Lohr, with contributions from Miguel Helft, produced the most in-depth reporting to date of the antitrust issues surrounding a Google-Yahoo search partnership: "Google Says It Will Defend Competitive Rationale of a Yahoo Deal."  

Now that the antitrust implications of this issue are beginning to get heightened media scrutiny, let me lay out my case of why a new Google-Yahoo search partnership is anti-competitive collusion and not benign collaboration. 

First, one must look at the competitive impact of a Google-Yahoo partnership.

Must read: FT's "Google triumphant" -- it's an excellent analysis of why Google is dominating...

Kudos to Richard Waters of FT for his insightful analysis "Google triumphant."

Let me highlight some key takeaways:

  • The failure of the Microsoft/Yahoo merger eliminates the biggest short-term threat” to Google’s unrivalled position on the web, says David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School. For now, its momentum “seems unstoppable”.

The article also provides excellent new detail to the thesis in my Googleopoly analysis and Senate testimony that Google's real dominance is as the dominant "market maker" for online advertising.

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths