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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.

Nationalistic Net Neutrality Naiveté

The New York Times’ editorial, “Global Threats to Net Neutrality,” scolds the world for not following the FCC’s nationalistic concept of net neutrality.

They feign shock and indignation that Europe and India would dare think of politically doing what the FCC has done and impose their own national industrial policies -- under the convenient political cover of “net neutrality.”

America’s elites naively imagine that other countries’ authorities don’t “get the joke” of the FCC’s politically-contrived net neutrality policy.

Other countries’ authorities are not as gullible and pliant as American elites imagine them to be.  

They know “net neutrality” has become an increasingly vacuous political slogan, whose definition conveniently changes meaning like a chameleon changes colors.

They know the FCC is pressuring them to do as the FCC says and not as the FCC does on net neutrality.

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.

FCC Title II Protectionism Creates a U.S. Digital Single Market like EU’s

On February 26th, the FCC executed President Obama’s call to “implement the strongest possible rules” to regulate the Internet as a telephone utility under “Title II” of the Telecommunications Act.

Legally, the result of this “reclassification” was for President Obama and the FCC to assert regulatory jurisdiction over the Internet ecosystem, creating a de facto American “Digital [Internet] Single Market” industrial policy, like the European Commission is in the process of creating for the European Union.

Legally, America now has a single digital telecommunications/Internet market/ecosystem because the FCC is effectively reclassifying Internet traffic as Title II telecommunications and Title II is a holistic, end-to-end, 1934 regulatory regime designed for the FCC to decide most everything in the assumed monopoly telecommunications ecosystem from originating and terminating local access, long distance, phone and network equipment manufacturing, directories, etc.

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]

America’s Title II Protectionism Will Hurt Google & Silicon Valley in EU

Last November, President Obama effectively abandoned America’s longstanding free trade Internet policy established by President Clinton, in favor of a protectionist Internet industrial policy to benefit America’s national champions, Silicon Valley, under the guise of “net neutrality” policy.

Flipping U.S. Internet policy from global digital free trade to maximal national Internet regulation could end up hurting Silicon Valley the most, because they most benefit from, and depend on, the current free flow of information globally on the Internet.

Ironically, America also is forfeiting the digital free trade policy high ground by leading the world toward a “Splinternet” vision of more nationalistic maximal utility regulation of the Internet and its content.

In particular, it will be much harder for the U.S. to credibly object that the EU’s: creation of a European Digital Single Market (DSM), tightening of the EU-U.S. Data Protection Safe Harbor, and its aggressive enforcement of EU antitrust, privacy, and tax laws against Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, is protectionist, when America’s new FCC utility regulation of the Internet is a transparently protectionist American industrial policy to advantage America’s national champions in Silicon Valley. 

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths