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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2017-01-12 14:57
By far the biggest competition problem facing U.S. antitrust and regulatory authorities is the Goobook Ad Cartel, the unaccountable dominant chokepoint for monetizing most online news, content, products and services.
The evidence is compelling that Google and Facebook have colluded to divide up and corner the online advertising market, and consequently, have deterred competition, devalued property and work, dehumanized privacy, and depressed economic growth and employment.
This unprecedented market power and winner-take-all outcome in such a vital sector of the economy is a direct result of purposeful U.S. non-enforcement of antitrust laws for online platforms, and the lavishment of most every public policy advantage upon them that one could imagine.
Let’s first examine Google and Facebook’s massive monopolies, then their collusion, and then who is harmed and how.
Google & Facebook’s Massive Monopolies
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2016-12-05 16:15
Apparently America does not have “equal justice under law” when it comes to media concentration limits.
Seldom can one find a starker commercial example of unequal legal, law enforcement, and regulatory treatment of very similar commercial activities than that between old media and Internet/new media companies concerning media concentration and antitrust enforcement.
Both legacy old media companies and Internet/new media companies are in the communications business, own and/or produce media of some type, and distribute media in different physical ways, consumption formats, and time/situation dimensions.
Please see this one-page graphic that illustrates how America’s media concentration double standard treats similar old and new media companies completely dissimilarly, and how it results in a predictable stark market share dichotomy.
Ultimately old media concentration has been limited by the traditional antitrust limits that apply to all industries and companies over the years.
That’s no longer true for Big-Internet companies like Google and Facebook.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2016-11-28 16:11
Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “How U.S. Internet Commons Policies Lessen Growth Jobs & Security.”
It spotlights how U.S. Internet commons policies – where “free” means a price of zero and “open” means no property -- create winner-take all economic outcomes for the Netstablishment at the expense of everyone else.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2016-11-18 09:50
Google’s unprecedented Obama Administration influence and its self-serving anti-employment, anti-property, and pro-regulatory policy agenda, are on a collision course with the job-creating, pro-property, deregulatory Trump Administration growth agenda.
Keep watch to see who adapts to whom and how.
I. Google’s Unprecedented Lobbying Influence
Current Alphabet-Google Chairman Eric Schmidt enjoys the privilege of being the only corporate leader of a publicly-traded company on the President’s nineteen member Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2016-11-04 11:25
Google is in the process of submitting its defenses to the EU antitrust charges that Google abuses its >90% dominance in search, mobile, and advertising. At the same time a new U.S. Administration soon will take a fresh look at U.S. antitrust enforcement, much like the EU did for Europe in late 2014.
So how did EU v. Google become the most consequential antitrust case of the young 21st century?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2016-10-25 22:59
This analysis of the competitive facts underlying AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner is an outgrowth of my discussion of the acquisition on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show this morning with Cecilia Kang of the New York Times and John Bergmeyer of Public Knowledge. The show can be heard here.
My main point was that the competitive facts are the best friend of this transaction.
I elaborate on that conclusion below.
The key facts lead me to believe the transaction should and will be approved, most likely by the DOJ, because of: the antitrust-benign competitive share facts in all the relevant markets; the antitrust precedents that constrain the DOJ’s ability to successfully challenge in court a vertical merger with these benign shares; and the companies have signaled they understand that if any legitimate competitive concerns arise they can be mitigated successfully with conditions and DOJ oversight of the transaction.
If officials examine the competitive facts of this acquisition with an open mind and with due process, they’ll discover first impressions can be very misleading.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2016-10-21 10:58
What does it tell us that no company ultimately bid to buy Twitter over the last month despite several reported brand-name interested buyers?
Twitter is the eighth-most-visited Internet site in the world; the best site in the world for real-time content; and is one of the few public companies in the marketplace that is growing revenue at a 20% annual rate – and no one even submitted a low-ball bid for Twitter? What is going on here?
Apparently, it tells us that there are only two companies in the world that could grow, leverage and monetize Twitter to make it worth roughly $20b under current circumstances – Alphabet-Google and Facebook -- and they both practically can’t buy Twitter for antitrust reasons.
Let’s analyze why.
First, Google and Facebook each individually would face unwanted serious antitrust risk.
Currently, Alphabet-Google is embroiled in this century’s biggest antitrust case in the EU.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2016-10-07 11:20
Listen to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai when he says Google foresees a transformation from a “mobile-first world to an AI-first world,” because that is where Google-Android’s ~90% market dominance in mobile, search, and search advertising, is going to take the world -- like it or not.
As you will see, an “AI-first world” is also a “privacy-second world” and an “antitrust-cursed world.”
Just like Google’s unmatched data collection enabled it to figure out how to position itself to dominate the mobile Internet with Android’s contractual-tying over the last eight years, Google’s unmatched data collection currently is enabling it to figure out how to perfectly vertically-integrate a comprehensive-suite of home-related, products and services to dominate home-digital information and services with its just announced products: Google Home, Google WiFi, Allo, Google Assistant, Google Pixel, etc.
Naturally this Google “data-driven,” omni-integration will have big privacy and antitrust implications.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Sun, 2016-09-18 21:55
Who thinks it wise to allow a single company to corner the global market for any set of critical inputs to the global economy -- like stocks, bonds, currencies, industrial metals, precious metals, energy resources, grains, food, or livestock -- with no regulatory oversight, transparency or obligation to be an honest broker?
Why then, if “information is power” in commerce, society, and governing, has the world allowed Google to anti-competitively corner the global market for the world’s information?
To spotlight this extraordinary risk and exceptional lapse in sovereign accountability, my new research provides new insight into how Google has become the most powerful commercial monopoly the modern world has ever seen.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2016-08-03 22:38
The evidence shows that Google & Facebook -- by far the world’s most dominant Internet gatekeepers – are not an Internet advertising “duopoly,” but worse, two separate Internet advertising monopoly platforms, one in search advertising and another in social media advertising.
That’s because search and social media advertising are not competitive substitutes for each other, but are proving to be synergistic advertising complements to each other in company marketing campaigns, because generally search advertising excels at lead generation and local business visibility while social media advertising generally excels at building brand awareness and interactivity with consumers.
Tellingly, after beginning to directly compete in social in 2011 and in search in 2013, Google and Facebook both abruptly, coincidentally, and effectively stopped competing directly with each other in both the search and social media markets in 2014.
Apparently, they either jointly agreed in 2014 to divide up the marketplace and no longer directly compete with each other to maximize their exceptional mobile growth and profitability; or they concluded independently -- from their initial directly competitive forays into the other’s core markets -- that the other commanded unbeatable monopoly network effects, so not directly competing with each other would maximize their exceptional mobile growth and profitability.