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EU Charges Spotlight Google’s Self-Dealing Power

Facts belie Google’s rote denials that it is dominant, and that favoring its own content over competitors is anti-competitive in the EU. As this post will prove below, the public facts are overwhelming that Google is dominant and self-dealing.

But first, look closely and witness that the entirety of Google’s antitrust defense is essentially political -- that the EU’s antitrust law and precedent shouldn’t be different or tougher than America’s. Specifically, Google essentially is arguing that the EU shouldn’t have a lower market share threshold to be legally considered dominant and the EU shouldn’t have presumption in law that if dominant, the dominant company has “a special responsibility not to allow its conduct to impair competition on the common market.”

That’s wishful whining; it is not a legal antitrust defense in Europe.

It is only fitting that Google faces a Danish prosecutor in EC VP Margrethe Vestager. That’s because Google currently is acting out the role of emperor in the most famous Danish fable by Hans Christian Anderson, the “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

EU-Google Antitrust Charges – Google’s Hidden #1 Problem

Google’s biggest problem is not being charged with violation of antitrust laws in Europe; its biggest problem is a gross violation of trust of its roughly two billion users.

Why Google’s Running Out of Antitrust Political Tricks

Just when Google needs it most, its political bag of tricks to dodge antitrust enforcement may be running out.

Reports that the EC is likely to issue a Statement of Objections ruling soon -- that Google is >90% dominant in search and search advertising and has illegally abused that dominance by promoting Google’s content and demoting competitors’ content -- indicates Google finally may be facing a global antitrust inflection point.

A tough EC SO would be a game-changer for Google, like the 2000 U.S. District Court case that ruled Microsoft an anti-competitive monopoly, proved to be a game-changing, global antitrust inflection point for Microsoft.  

Substantively on the merits of the EC antitrust case, Google appears to have little room to maneuver. The EC effectively agrees with the FTC’s staff antitrust conclusions per the leaked FTC staff report. That finding is highly problematic for Google because: EU competition law is much tougher than America’s; Google’s relative >90% market dominance in Europe is much greater than in the U.S.; and Google doesn’t have the dominant political influence over Europe that it does with the U.S. Executive Branch.

Googlegate II: The Evidence DOJ Made Google Criminal Case Go Away

The FTC’s politically messy closure of the FTC-Google antitrust investigation in 2013, chronicled in “Googlegate: the FTC Cover-up Evidence Piles Up,” is not the only major Federal investigation into Google’s business practices that Google’s political influence appears to have made go away in 2013.

Googlegate -- The FTC Cover-up Evidence Piles Up

The FTC’s Googlegate cover-up problem is that while the FTC may be telling the truth, they apparently are not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Don’t miss the brief summary below of the role political influence played in the politically messy closure of the FTC-Google antitrust investigation in 2013.

The evidence of FTC special treatment for Google, coupled with an apparent FTC cover-up of the political influence that may have defanged the FTC’s investigative process, is particularly relevant to: the European Commission’s current antitrust investigation of Google’s abuses of its <90% dominance in Europe; reported U.S. Senate oversight interest in the FTC’s closure of the Google investigation; and Mississippi AG Jim Hood’s State-led antitrust and consumer protection investigation of Google.

The Appearance of Google-USG Conflicts of Interest Grows

 

Public evidence concerning the amount of special access Google has to the highest reaches of the U.S. Government creates at least the appearance that the U.S. Government’s business may not be “conducted with impartiality and integrity” as required under Federal ethics rules.

FTC-Googlegate Scandal Repercussions in EU & U.S.

Previously unknown facts about the FTC staff’s 2011 Google search bias investigation have the makings of a potential scandal and cover-up with broad repercussions for Google with the European Commission, other countries, the FTC, State AGs and Congress.   

The WSJ gained inadvertent access to the FTC’s 2011 staff report about its investigation of Google’s search practices. FTC staff concluded: Google abused its monopoly power in search and search advertising; harmed Internet users and competitors; and manipulated its search results by favoring its own content over competitors’ content.

How America Protects National Champion Google in the EU -- Daily Caller

Please don’t miss my Daily Caller  op-ed: “How America Protects National Champion Google in the EU”

  • It spotlights the facts of how exceptionally integrated Google has become with the U.S. Government on most all of the commercial matters most critical to Google’s business success.

 

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Google Unaccountability Series

Part 0: Google's Poor & Defiant Settlement Record [5-1-12]

Part 1: Why Google Thinks It Is Above the Law [4-17-12]

The FCC’s Predictable Fiasco of Internet Utility Regulation -- Daily Caller

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed – “The FCC’s Predictable Fiasco of Internet Utility Regulation.”

  • For the first time, it lays out the top ten predictable messes that the FCC will cause with its abrupt Internet policy U-turn to Title II utility regulation of the Internet.

This Internet policy foundation U-turn predictably will set in motion a chaotic cascade of other supporting policy U-turns over time.

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FCC Open Internet Order Series

Part 1: The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet [9-24-09]

Breaking Privacy Promises is How Google Works - New Student Privacy Pledge

Google quietly signed the U.S. Student Privacy Pledge, which makes its new privacy representations legally enforceable by the FTC and State Attorneys General.

This is a much-under-appreciated, high-risk decision for Google because its new student privacy commitments conflict with Google’s Apps for Education contracts with schools, and it is antithetical to Google’s longstanding business model, practices, and privacy track record.

Google may already be breaking this privacy promise because it is “How Google Works” -- as you will learn below.  

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