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Google's Earnings Spotlight Its Antitrust Liabilities

Google's 3Q11 earnings call and release provided lots of new and relevant evidence to the many antitrust investigations of Google going on around the world.

  • See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here that explains the four big antitrust takeaways from the Google earnings call.

Google's "Trusted Stores" -- A Satire

Brandi Sparkles, Google's satirical spokesperson, returns for a press conference to explain Google's new Trusted Stores Badge.

 

  • See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here. Enjoy!

 

Googleopoly VIII: How Google's Deceptive & Predatory Search Practices Harm Consumers

How Google's deceptive and predatory search practices harm consumers is the focus of Part VIII of my four-year antitrust research series on Google. (See www.Googleopoly.net for the whole series.)

I. Summary:

My Googleopoly VIII white paper here presents evidence of four things of import to the FTC's current antitrust investigation of Google:


 

My Forbes Op-ed: "Google's Deceptive Practices Harm Consumers"

To see the first free-market legal argument explaining how Google's market behavior systematically harms consumers under antitrust law, read my Forbes op-ed: "Google's Deceptive Practices Harm Consumers."

  • This is important because Google and its defenders believe the benefits Google provides consumers are the bedrock of a winning antitrust defense.

Few have grasped the huge significance that it is the FTC (with its unique supplemental Section 5 authority) and not the DOJ, that is investigating Google for antitrust.

Most also have missed how vulnerable Google is to the charge that many of its marketing practices are illegal deceptive misrepresentations of its business.

My Forbes op-ed link is here.

FTC-Google Antitrust Primer: Top Ten Q&A

Find an FTC-Google Antitrust Primer here that asks and answers the Top Ten Questions about:

  • Google's admission it has received a subpoena and is under formal investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for antitrust violations; and
  • What the FTC is likely investigating and thinking, given that the FTC cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

This primer is based on a combination of new analysis and an update of the best of four years of Google antitrust research, which can be found at: www.Googleopoly.net.

The Top Ten Q&A are:

Google-Admeld: More Gaming of Antitrust Enforcement?

Google's reported purchase of Admeld, described by TechCrunch as "an advertising optimization platform for publishers," appears to be another clever gaming of the antitrust enforcement process by Google to reinforce and extend its core search advertising monopoly.

  • Google appears to believe they have figured out their monopolization-extension formula via antitrust enforcement, and are now in "lather, rinse and repeat" mode.

As I explained in formally opposing Google's acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007, which I believed would help quickly tip Google to monopoly (which it did) by allowing Google to buy the roughly third of user, advertiser and publisher relationships that they did not have, antitrust enforcers focused myopically on the market of the acquired company and missed the monopolization-extension significance and effect of the purchase on substantially augmenting the core Google search advertising monopoly.

Google's exceptionally clever gaming of the antitrust enforcement process here, is a relatively simple and powerful maneuver that only Google can do, because only Google has the near perfect market inside information that its search advertising monopoly provides.

Announcing My New Book: Search & Destroy Why You Can't Trust Google Inc.

I've long thought there was a big untold story about Google, essentially a book all about Google, but told from a user's perspective, rather than the well-worn path of Google books told largely from Google's own paternal perspective.

 

 

 

Given that Google is the most ubiquitous, powerful and disruptive company in the world, it seemed logical to me that users, and people affected by Google, had a lot of important and fundamental questions about Google that no book had ever tried to answer in a straightforward and well-defended manner.

3 Big Signs Google's Becoming a Conventional Company Under Page

Ironically after Google's Larry Page pledged in the first line of his 2004 IPO letter -- that "Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one." -- Google under his new CEO leadership is in fact rapidly becoming much more of a "conventional" company.

Three Big Early Signs from Mr. Page's CEO-ship:

Google's Deceptive "one click away" Antitrust Defense -- Part VIII Google Antitrust Pinocchio Series

As reports swirl that the FTC and DOJ may be considering a formal antitrust investigation of Google, like the EU already launched in November 2010, Google continues its deceptive, one-dimensional, superficial, antitrust defense mantra that "competition is one click away," and that Google is only focused on users and innovation.

 

  • It is telling that just last week the FTC charged Google with deceptive privacy practices, and Google tacitly admitted its public deceptiveness and misrepresentation in submitting to the FCC's consent order; so I am not alone here in charging that Google is deceptive and misrepresents itself to the public.

 

So how is Google's antitrust defense deceptive?

First, Google's stale four-year antitrust mantra that competition is but a click away and Google puts users first, is deceptive because Google knows full well that competition and antitrust involves much more than just users -- as they claim -- but an entire competitive ecosystem.

 

Google's No Privacy by Design Business Model

Popular bipartisan interest in safeguarding consumers privacy in the U.S. and Europe confronts Google with a core strategic problem because Google's targeted advertising business model is no "privacy by design" and no "privacy by default."

 

  • Google bet wrong and big in assuming that since technology made it so much easier to track and profile users for targeted advertising, users would just accept the new loss of privacy and users and governments would never enforce user demand for choice to protect their privacy.
  • Google's all-in company bet on openness, transparency, and sharing, was also a strategic bet against robust privacy, security, and property protections.
  • In choosing to brand itself as the penultimate "White Hat" player promoting "openness," Google has effectively designed its business, architecture, and brand to be the main "Black Hat" player on privacy.

 

Google's No Privacy By Design model is unique.

 

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths