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Google’s Serial Bad Acts Harm American Interests in Europe

 

Google has no shame. Google is throwing stones at Europe while living in a glass house.

Summary

In response to a non-binding resolution passed by a 384-174 vote by the European Parliament to urge the European Commission to enforce European law against Google’s search engine >90% dominance of the European digital market, Google has advanced three self-serving, America-harming, PR narratives that the overwhelming evidence shows are untrue.

One American bad apple is spoiling it for the whole American bunch.

First, Google shamelessly plays the victim acting like it hasn’t done anything wrong worthy of European law enforcement when Google knows the evidence proves it is a serial bad actor with the worst antitrust, privacy, and property infringement rap sheet of any American multinational in Europe or the world.

Google’s Dominance Isn’t Peaking Its Proliferating!

 

Apparently Google hopes to convince the new European Commission to buy into the same market predicate that it convinced Mr. Almunia to accept -- that the fast and ever-changing Internet marketplace has rendered lasting market dominance and antitrust enforcement obsolete.

Like a magician or illusionist, one can make another believe anything if they can misdirect their attention from what is really going on. 

Google’s latest misdirection ploy is to focus the media and the new EC on its new “peak” PR narrative that its search and Android dominance is at a “peak” -- with the implication that Google’s market position is fleeting and will only go down from here because fast-changing innovation and competition will naturally supplant it.

And by extension, if people accept that Google’s dominance is “peaking” then they can more easily be convinced that Google’s dominance could decrease naturally without any government intervention.

This “peak” market frame is clever misdirection because it distracts people from focusing on how Google is broadly abusing its market dominance to extend its market power into additional, adjacent, and nascent markets.

However, a new competitor or innovation can only have a chance to supplant Google, if Google does not neutralize or dominate the new competitor or innovation first.

EC Must Learn from Almunia’s Google Mistakes – An Open Letter to EC

Dear European Commission Official,

History teaches that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Specifically, as the new European Commission takes charge of the mess that is the Google competition case, it is important to learn from, and not repeat, Mr. Almunia’s many big Google mistakes.  

Summary of Almunia-Google Mistakes

Stealing from Competitors is “How Google Works”

 

Google executives’ saccharine best-selling book: “How Google Works,” predictably ignores and whitewashes how Google steals to make its free model work.

This piece spotlights the likely “Post-it Child” of Google theft victims and five other theft victims that Google has stolen from using its signature MO or “Google Con.” It also links to another nineteen victims for a total of at least twenty five examples of Google’s theft and piracy. Corporate kleptomania is “How Google Works.”

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information for free. Its business model is to generate ad revenue on only the sliver of information that users find and click on.

So Google respecting property rights – whether it is privacy, confidential information, trade secrets, copyrights, patents or trademarks – would be prohibitively expensive because their world view presumes that digitized information should be free.

Top 10 Reasons Why Google is Causing EU More Problems than Microsoft Did

European Commission Vice President for Competition Joaquin Almunia recently warned the European Parliament that “Microsoft was investigated [for] 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken, and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft” per the FT article: “EU antitrust chief says Google case may be bigger than Microsoft.”

Why would the EC view Google as a bigger problem than Microsoft ever was?

Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb – New White Paper on Google’s Data Dominance

 

[Note: Please find “Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb” White Paper -- here.]

The European Commission’s 28-month-old Google search Statement of Objections is out of date and myopic.

What’s changed since the May 2012 EC-Google search settlement baseline?

Google has extended its May 2012 billion-user search dominance, into three newly billion-user dominant platforms (mobile, video, and maps), resulting in new competition complaints of abuse of dominance and new potential EC investigations – with Google’s abuse of its data dominance a common thread.  

Snowden’s NSA-revelations have changed everyone’s awareness of Internet surveillance and the vulnerability of personal data, contributing to the passage of much stronger data-protection legislation by the European Parliament and to a European High Court ruling on Europeans’ right to be forgotten.

Fact-checking Google’s Public EC Competition Defense

 

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently blogged to refute an EU newspaper ad “arguing that Google is too dominant and that we favour our own products.” Mr. Schmidt then said: “I wanted to ensure that people have the facts so they can judge the merit of the case themselves.” 

Let’s check Mr. Schmidt’s main assertions of fact here, to determine if they are indeed “facts,” or if they are deceptive half-truths at best? To truly “judge the merits” of this case, one needs to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about his public representations.

 

1.  Google: “We built Google for users, not websites.”

Google’s Illusion of Data Protection Security

 

While a well-positioned façade of a castle can create the illusion of a fully-fortified castle, real people’s data requires more than the illusion of security; it requires real data-protection-security.  

Google’s outsize ability to create the illusion of data-protection-security is particularly apt given that Eran Feigenbaum is Google Apps Security Director by day, and also a professional magician/illusionist by night.

Google Android Dominates by Cheating Data Protection

Google-Android sacrifices users’ security, privacy and data protection to scale Android fastest so that Google can dominate mobile software and advertising.

This charge and analysis is timely and relevant because Reuters is reporting that European Commission competition authorities are “laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.”

The purpose of this particular analysis is to help a user better understand how they are harmed by Google-Android’s disregard for data protection.

Six Ways the FTC is AWOL on Google

 

The mounting evidence indicates the FTC is AWOL on Google.

Currently there are no less than six important Google enforcement issues that that the FTC should be investigating, but apparently is not.  

In stark contrast, the EU has many serious problems with Google’s >90% dominance and its persistent disregard for Europe’s privacy, data protection and the right to be forgotten requirements.

An American Google enforcement vacuum stiffens the EU’s resolve and adds to the need and urgency for the EC to step in to preserve the rule of law in Europe.

An absentee FTC, which is largely ignoring consumer choice, also makes it harder for the U.S. to preserve the US-EU safe harbor for the handling of personal information in the pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Post-Snowden, the US and EU are far apart on data protection, and a glaringly absentee FTC only exacerbates that divide.

    

 

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