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DOJ

Does U.S. Antitrust Law Apply to Google?

Summary

How the DOJ and FTC handle two high-profile Google market behaviors that appear on their face to violate two different U.S. antitrust precedents, will speak volumes to the world about whether U.S. antitrust law still applies to Google, or not.

First, does the DOJ believe that the new search partnership between #3 Yahoo and #1 Google -- in the highly-concentrated U.S. search market -- is anti-competitive like the DOJ concluded previously in opposing the 2008 proposed Google-Yahoo search partnership?

The FCC’s Abjectly Illegitimate Premise for More Cable Regulation

There are troubling signals that the FCC is gearing up to further increase regulation of cable -- on top of the extra-legal new utility regulation the FCC already did in its 2015 Open Internet Order. 

What is profoundly troubling is the abject illegitimacy of their premise for more regulation of cable, i.e. the FCC’s new arbitrary and capricious definition of broadband that illegitimately redefined long-recognized, strong broadband competition -- out of existence with the stroke of a pen.

So what are the signals of more cable regulation? Two speeches from the FCC Chairman, one from the FCC General Counsel, another from the DOJ Antitrust Chief, a variety of Hill and edge-industry entreaties to regulate cable more via new MVPD or ALLVID regulatory proceedings, (but of course without regulating favored edge providers), and an explosion of new opposition to the proposed Charter-Time-Warner merger (by the exact same cast of characters whose opposition doomed the Comcast-Time-Warner merger).

This broad simultaneous level of focused regulatory chatter and organized activity is not coincidental, but highly-orchestrated and abjectly illegitimate.

Why is more cable regulation abjectly illegitimate?   

Is Google-Alphabet’s Restructuring about Antitrust and Privacy After All?

The world’s self-professed know-it-all apparently does know a lot more than we do.

This piece assembles the evidence that Google’s benign PR explanation and stock-enhancement justification for its Alphabet holding company restructuring -- may be the truth, but apparently is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth, about the structural antitrust and privacy risks ahead that it clearly foresees, but is not disclosing.

What we have learned in the last two months is that Google is much more worried than it says about the risks it faces from a variety of real structural changes it may have to make in its core business overseas in the months and years ahead -- where the vast majority of Google’s users are, and from where over 50% of its revenues come.

Google as Global Government

Google, the Internet’s lone  superpower, increasingly governs its borderless virtual geography like a supranational virtual state, with the power to increasingly arbitrage actual nations’ sovereignty.

Google Consolidating its Dominance at Unprecedented Rates - 2012-2015 Chart

The modern world has never before seen a company with the scale, scope, reach and speed of Google’s business dominance. Expect Google’s antitrust problems to proliferate with its proliferating dominance and abuses.

Google has extended and consolidated its unprecedented dominance at unprecedented rates over the last ~three years.

No other company has ever grown several separate and very different, stand-alone verticals simultaneously, by several hundred million users each, in less than ~three years.

Please Read The Most Important Google Article I’ve Ever Read

 

The single most important Google accountability article I have ever read, out of the literally ten thousand plus that I have read in my nine years researching Google in depth, is Dr. Robert Epstein’s article in Politico entitled “How Google could rig the 2016 election.

Anyone, who has any interest in, or concern about, the integrity of elections in democracies in the digital age, and/or Google’s market power over what information people access, must read this article.

What Is Everyone Missing from the Alphabet Google Restructuring?

There is more to learn from the Alphabet-Google restructuring than Google’s PR narratives.

First for those paying close attention, this restructuring and Alphabet branding should spotlight Google’s truly amazing accomplishments to date, and Alphabet-Google’s breathtaking ambitions going forward.  

At core this restructuring formalizes Alphabet-Google’s very real transition, from a Gcosytem focus of disintermediating and dominating much of the Internet and tech sectors, to a Gconomy focus of disintermediating and dominating much of the rest of the economy.    

Google-Facebook-Apple’s Law-Evasive Encryption Risks

In the coming months, Google, and to a lesser extent, Facebook and Apple are on a collision course with American and foreign law enforcement over their pervasive, law-evasive, encryption of Internet traffic by default, which increasingly means law enforcement with a legitimate court-ordered-warrant, cannot search a Google, Facebook, or Apple users’ communications to investigate, prevent and prosecute terrorism or felony crime.

All three, to different degrees, are seeking to regain user trust lost by Snowden’s exposure of ubiquitous NSA spying, by deceptively trumpeting their encryption of traffic as a panacea for privacy vulnerabilities.

[Please don’t miss the summary below of that encapsulates how more pervasive, law-evasive, encryption is not a privacy/security panacea but a grave threat to both public safety and the global free and open Internet we know today.]     

Fines Alone Don’t Deter Google

EU officials, who believe normally-big-fines by themselves will be enough to deter Google’s illegal antitrust and privacy abuses, are making a profound miscalculation about what actually motivates and deters Google.

Google’s leadership is not motivated primarily by money, but overwhelmingly by the power and influence of “changing the world” by scaling most every facet of data, computing, and connectivity, first and fastest.

Google’s leadership understands the Internet marketplace is really a simple first-mover race to scale -- and that any fines along the way, without serious limits on Google’s power, are insignificant nuisances.       

Google is unlike any other company EU law enforcement has confronted.

Intimidation is “How Google Works” -- Ask State AGs or EU

After successfully taming the FTC and the DOJ via the intimidation of politically placing seven former Google executives or consultants in senior positions in most every major federal policy or law enforcement area of legal or commercial interest to Google Inc., Google has turned its intimidation modus operandi on the only American law enforcement arm that apparently remains willing to investigate and enforce the law when it comes to Google – state attorneys general.

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