You are here

Fraud

FTC-Google Antitrust: The Obvious Case for Consumer Harm -- Part 10 Google Unaccountability Series

Despite reports questioning the evidence of consumer harm in the FTC antitrust investigation of Google, it's obviously there if the FTC chooses to charge Google under its Section 5 authority which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices." The legal threshold for proving consumer harm under Section 5 versus the Sherman Act is dramatically easier for the FTC prosecution to meet. Thus press reports about Google consumer harm are implicitly more about the furious debate over which law(s) to use than it is about the provability of consumer harm.

A main argument the FTC made to win the turf battle over which antitrust agency would lead the Google antitrust investigation, the DOJ or FTC, was that the FTC had Section 5 authority, in addition to the Sherman Act anti-monopolization authority that the DOJ and FTC both share. Unlike antitrust precedent from the Sherman Act, which guides that consumer harm should outweigh any offsetting innovation or consumer benefits, Congress in Section 5 declared deceiving consumers is illegal harm of consumers.

The Unique Google Privacy Problem -- My Presentation to Korean Privacy Council in Seoul

Please see my new powerpoint presentation here: "The Unique Google Privacy Problem; Why Google's Forced-Integrated Privacy Policy is So Problematic," which I presented to the Korea Council on the Protection of Personal Information in Seoul Korea this week.

Please don't miss slide 4: "Google's Monopoly Power = Unique Global Privacy Problem: Unfathomable Scale, Scope and Centralization of Private Info." It provides the latest eye-popping stats on Google's rapidly spreading dominance into video, mobile and social.

Also important not to miss are slides 9-10, which present my new conclusions about what Google's forced-integration of its privacy policy means for sovereign nations and the world at large, given the EU/CNIL's strong challenge last week to Google's privacy policy changes without user permission or opt-out option.

This analysis should be of great interest to the ~35 privacy authorities around the world which currently oppose Google's forced-integrated privacy policy (and other nations and privacy professionals as well), because it provides strong evidence, supporting rationale and conclusions to help nations address the #1 global privacy problem.

 

"Pro-trust" EU Competition Remedies for Google's Antitrust Violations

Google remains its own worst enemy in trying to resolve EU antitrust charges.

In early 2012, when Google was trying to convince EU antitrust authorities that enforcement action against Google's search practices -- preferring its own content in search ranking over competitors -- would only harm consumers and was unnecessary because competition was but "a click away" for consumers, Google announced it would consolidate 60 privacy policies without user permission or user choice to opt-out, and then did it a month later, over the EU's strong objections.

This was a flagrant strategic mistake because: first the EU prides itself for strong consumer privacy laws and privacy protections; second the EU fully-understands that consumers' privacy is the de facto currency that Google uses to propel its monopoly; and third Google's primary antitrust defense is that they are the ones that are best looking out for consumers interests and that consumers have plenty of choice.

Spotlighting Google's Politicization of the Law Enforcement Process -- My Politico Letter to Editor

Politico published my 500-word rebuttal of Tom Lenard's op-ed "FTC should drop case against Google," as a Letter to the Editor, which you can see here, and also as an online op-ed called: Opinion: Google's political play.

In it, I succinctly expose how "Google often plays politics to evade law enforcement culpability."

Google offers to label Google search results to settle antitrust suit -- Don't miss the satirical version

FT just reported that Google has moved to settle antitrust charges with the EU "by offering to label information from its in-house services that are included in its search results pages..."

I am republishing below a satirical June 26th PrecursorBlog post which anticipated this exact offer of a Google labeling antirust remedy to settle antitrust charges.

  • The satirical recommendation memo from Google's lawyers to Google's CEO puts Google's munificent "labeling" offer of cooperation in perspective.

 

Google's Labeling Antitrust Remedy: "One Trick Away" -- A Satire

What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? -- Part 12 of Google's Disrespect for Property Series

What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? The simple answer is Google's leadership profoundly betrayed the longtime personal trust and friendship of Apple's leadership in stealing what Steve Jobs believed were Apple's most prized possessions. The fuller answer is below, in a telling timeline of the once exceptionally-close Apple-Google relationship.

This discussion is timely given Google's current PR effort to convince the public/media that Google and Apple are likely to negotiate a patent "truce" and make Google's Android's patent liabilities go away. Thus it makes sense to drill down to learn more about the real likelihood of Apple being party to any patent-litigation "truce" or grand Apple-Android patent-licensing settlement.

The Deceptive Politics of Piracy

In writing "Internet Pirates Will Always Win," Nick Bilton, The New York Times's technology columnist whom I read and respect, has unwisely adopted the political logic and public narrative of the piracy lobby that "information wants to be free." Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Bilton has fully thought through the serious negative implications of his flawed logic and misplaced political support.

Mr. Bilton is not the first, and won't be the last, columnist to buy into the piracy lobby's deceptive political narrative that fighting piracy is akin to a futile game of Whac-a-mole, so content creators should just unilaterally surrender the concept of market pricing of their content going forward and offer it free to the public on the Internet or at a minimal price that Internet pirates judge is "fair." Mr. Bilton concluded: "Sooner or later, the people who still believe they can hit the moles with their slow mallets might realize that their time would be better spent playing an entirely different game."

The unspoken "different game" here is that the Internet should be more of a public information commons where everything is free of cost to access, and no permission or contract is required to do most anything on the Internet, in stark contrast to being more of an Internet marketplace where property owners of all kinds can charge for and contractually control the use of their property and individuals can assert control over how their private information is used.

Who but Google is Thriving in Online Advertising?

Evidence abounds that the industry business model of online advertising, minus Google, is shockingly weak competitively, given how many people assume advertising is supposed to be the viable competitive monetization engine that will sustain the "free and open Internet" long term.

Anyone open to connecting-the-dots of recent public evidence will see an obvious dichotomy: Google is thriving, while much of the rest of the online advertising industry is struggling despite unprecedented: opportunity to reach users, technological efficiencies, and access to troves of private data to target ads to produce more revenue growth.

Examine the accumulating troubling evidence of how weak online advertising competition has become.

The Internet Advertising Bureau's latest reporting of 15% online advertising growth for the industry in 1Q12 masks the large Google vs. competitor revenue growth dichotomy. Given that Google grew 24% 1Q12 and comprises almost half of all U.S. online advertising per eMarketer, I calculate that the rest of the online advertising industry is growing only about 8%. That means Google is growing three times faster than its online competitors and continues to take market share at an accelerating rate.

Google's Culture of Unaccountability: In their Own Words -- (Google Unaccountability Series: Part II)

We learn about Google's culture-of-unaccountability from Google itself. Google's leaders have repeatedly indicated their hostility to accountability of most any type.

Listen to Google's own words to learn about their unique and unabashed corporate culture-of-unaccountability.

"New investors will fully share in Google's long-term economic future but will have little ability to influence its strategic decisions through their voting rights." Google's 2004 IPO letter to prospective shareholders from co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Google Mocks the World

Google has no shame. This week Google sponsored a two-day summit in Los Angeles entitled: "Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition" and trumpeted Google's leadership in combating illicit networks, with no acknowledgement of Google's own uniquely atrocious track record of illicit network activity, and even worse, with no public acceptance of responsibility or remorse for Google's illicit behavior.

There is no question that Google's professed public goals of combating "narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing" are noble, needed and welcome. However, the serious problem here is Google's extreme cynicism and deceptive PR that they can burnish their global brand without having to practice what they preach.

Let's have the evidence speak for itself, because it proves that Google is its own worst enemy, in not doing what they say.

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths