You are here

Antitrust

EC Must Learn from Almunia’s Google Mistakes – An Open Letter to EC

Dear European Commission Official,

History teaches that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Specifically, as the new European Commission takes charge of the mess that is the Google competition case, it is important to learn from, and not repeat, Mr. Almunia’s many big Google mistakes.  

Summary of Almunia-Google Mistakes

Fact-checking Google Schmidt’s “Ich bin ein Big-fibber” Berlin Speech

 

History should remember Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s speech in Berlin, “The New Gründergeist,” as the “Ich bin ein Bigfibber” speech, because of his many big fibs about Google’s antitrust and data protection problems in Europe.   

Claim: “Really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon” (not Bing or Yahoo.)

Facts: Google crawls 60 trillion unique URLs to create its search index of the world-wide-web; Amazon does not crawl or search index the world-wide-web.

Google Profiting from Hacked Celebrity Women Photos is “How Google Works”

 

Google executives are on tour selling their new book: “How Google Works,” which actually tells very little about how Google really works when it comes to Google’s effect on people, and the protection of their well-being, property, privacy, safety, and dignity.

To really learn “How Google Works:”    

Top 10 Reasons Why Google is Causing EU More Problems than Microsoft Did

European Commission Vice President for Competition Joaquin Almunia recently warned the European Parliament that “Microsoft was investigated [for] 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken, and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft” per the FT article: “EU antitrust chief says Google case may be bigger than Microsoft.”

Why would the EC view Google as a bigger problem than Microsoft ever was?

Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb – New White Paper on Google’s Data Dominance

 

[Note: Please find “Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb” White Paper -- here.]

The European Commission’s 28-month-old Google search Statement of Objections is out of date and myopic.

What’s changed since the May 2012 EC-Google search settlement baseline?

Google has extended its May 2012 billion-user search dominance, into three newly billion-user dominant platforms (mobile, video, and maps), resulting in new competition complaints of abuse of dominance and new potential EC investigations – with Google’s abuse of its data dominance a common thread.  

Snowden’s NSA-revelations have changed everyone’s awareness of Internet surveillance and the vulnerability of personal data, contributing to the passage of much stronger data-protection legislation by the European Parliament and to a European High Court ruling on Europeans’ right to be forgotten.

Fact-checking Google’s Public EC Competition Defense

 

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently blogged to refute an EU newspaper ad “arguing that Google is too dominant and that we favour our own products.” Mr. Schmidt then said: “I wanted to ensure that people have the facts so they can judge the merit of the case themselves.” 

Let’s check Mr. Schmidt’s main assertions of fact here, to determine if they are indeed “facts,” or if they are deceptive half-truths at best? To truly “judge the merits” of this case, one needs to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about his public representations.

 

1.  Google: “We built Google for users, not websites.”

Why Settlements with Google Fail – Open Letter to New EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Unfortunately, the EC has learned the hard way. Settlements with Google don’t work.

First, Google’s leaders interpret DG-Comp’s publicly-signaled preference for a competition settlement over law enforcement to be a sign of sovereign weakness, and a lack of confidence in the EC’s sovereign resolve and law enforcement.

Second, Google’s leaders also interpret the EC’s repeated willingness to settle -- with no admission of Google wrongdoing/culpability and no meaningful penalty for past abuses of dominance – to practically mean that the EC’s sovereignty, rule of law and deterrent capability are all negotiable and open to surrender if Google pushes back hard enough.   

There is no other conclusion for Google’s leaders to reach. DG-Comp effectively surrendered its entire case three different times publicly: that Google is dominant, has abused its dominance, and warrants a fine and changed behavior.

In addition to that capitulation and pardon from responsibility for past abuses of dominance, DG-Comp also agreed to surrender the EC’s future sovereign authority to investigate Google search for five more years – almost the entire term of the next European Commission.

Google Android Dominates by Cheating Data Protection

Google-Android sacrifices users’ security, privacy and data protection to scale Android fastest so that Google can dominate mobile software and advertising.

This charge and analysis is timely and relevant because Reuters is reporting that European Commission competition authorities are “laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.”

The purpose of this particular analysis is to help a user better understand how they are harmed by Google-Android’s disregard for data protection.

Six Ways the FTC is AWOL on Google

 

The mounting evidence indicates the FTC is AWOL on Google.

Currently there are no less than six important Google enforcement issues that that the FTC should be investigating, but apparently is not.  

In stark contrast, the EU has many serious problems with Google’s >90% dominance and its persistent disregard for Europe’s privacy, data protection and the right to be forgotten requirements.

An American Google enforcement vacuum stiffens the EU’s resolve and adds to the need and urgency for the EC to step in to preserve the rule of law in Europe.

An absentee FTC, which is largely ignoring consumer choice, also makes it harder for the U.S. to preserve the US-EU safe harbor for the handling of personal information in the pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Post-Snowden, the US and EU are far apart on data protection, and a glaringly absentee FTC only exacerbates that divide.

    

 

Why Handcuff the Next EC with a Bad Five-Year Google Deal? – An Open Letter to EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Perversely the proposed EC-Google Settlement would restrict the next EC much more than it would restrict Google.

The special Google deal would handcuff EC President-Designate Juncker’s #1 priorityto create a digital single market for consumers and businesses” and “to break down national silos… in data protection… and in competition law.”

The deal would protect Google’s current de facto digital single market from significant new EC digital competition for five years, because the deal would require the EC to shut down its Google search investigation for a five-year period.

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths