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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2015-04-17 11:07
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.”
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-04-15 11:06
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2015-04-14 11:11
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-04-08 23:27
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-04-01 10:55
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-03-25 11:03
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2015-03-20 04:00
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2015-03-05 19:07
Please don’t miss my Daily Caller op-ed: “How America Protects National Champion Google in the EU”
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]
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2015-02-12 11:08
Google’s recent bullying and intimidating behavior in Mississippi looks terrible and smells bad.
Consider for yourself if Google’s corporate behavior in Mississippi is how innocent people or a responsible corporation act, if they have: a clear conscience, done nothing wrong, or nothing to hide?
What is going on in Mississippi that warrants close outside attention?
Google has filed an highly-unusual, and hyper-aggressive lawsuit in federal court to try and quash a Mississippi Attorney General’s subpoena investigating Google’s alleged willful, continued, aiding and abetting of many criminal activities via advertising, given that it has found initial evidence to indicate that the criminal behavior that Google admitted to in a 2011 $500m DOJ Non-Prosecution Agreement may be continuing to this day.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2015-01-07 17:28
As EC law enforcement confronts Google’s uniquely extensive wrongdoing in competition, privacy/security, property, and tax matters, it is critical to examine if Google’s longstanding public promises to consumers to gain their trust are in fact true and trustworthy.
Central to law enforcement’s role in determining the extent of its Google charges, penalties and remedies is determining whether or not the infractions were willful or unintentional.