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Conflict of Interest
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2010-04-20 17:03
The abrupt change, that Google's CEO Eric Schmidt will no longer be accountable to shareholders on Google's earnings calls, should prompt investors to ask why?
What has changed, and what Google has been not been open about, is the very serious ripening of three different types of going-forward franchise risks (antitrust, privacy/security, and intellectual property) that cumulatively herald a de facto change in Google eras: from the roaring "Growth Decade" of 2000-2009, to the more unpredictable "Liability Decade" of 2010- 2019.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2010-04-13 18:17
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2010-04-12 19:21
Did Google's CEO Eric Schmidt just say in public to the American Society of News Editors:
It sounds a lot like Mr. Schmidt envisions a Google with some automated technology that "challenges" readers with an automated process that "directs readers to a story with an opposing view?"
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2010-04-12 12:06
I have publicly debated Susan Crawford and found her to be intelligent, likable and zealously committed to the FCC broadband "public option," i.e. mandating that broadband become public-utility regulated as a common carrier.
First, Ms. Crawford's characterization of a potential unilateral FCC decision to regulate broadband for the first time -- as simply a "relabeling" of Internet access services -- is blatant mis-representation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2010-04-02 17:04
For skeptics of Google's need for more transparency and accountability, consider the latest disturbing example of Google Chrome not asking tens of millions of Internet users for their permission to gain wide open access to their computers and content -- when it clearly should ask for permission -- like every other Internet browser provider does.
Per ComputerWorld's article: "Google's Chrome now silently auto-updates Flash Player."
What this means is that unlike all other browsers or Google competitors, Google does not believe it needs permission from users to gain wide open access to users' entire computer software and all its private contents.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2010-04-01 20:10
FTC antitrust concerns over "inter-locking-directorates" reportedly have forced Kleiner-Perkins' John Doerr, to step down from Amazon's board, because he is also on the board of Amazon, a major book and cloud-computing competitor of Google -- per Miguel Helft's and Brad Stone's scoop at the New York Times Bits post.
This is the third (Amazon, Apple, Yahoo) too-cozy-for-antitrust-authorities, Keiretsu-like, Google business relationship that either the DOJ or FTC apparently have broken up.
Three different interventions by antitrust authorities involving Google's ties with three different Fortune 500 companies in eighteen months constitutes a pattern and underscores the depth and breadth of antitrust concerns that U.S. antitrust authorities have about Google.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2010-03-31 19:43
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2010-03-18 19:11
Wow. The evidence Viacom unearthed in discovery in their $1b copyright infringement suit against Google is surprisingly damning. The evidence shows willful, premeditated, deceptive, and organized efforts by YouTube, Google and Google-YouTube to infringe copyrights for anti-competitive and financial gain.
So what are the broader antitrust implications of all this new and serious evidence of illegal activity and misconduct by Google-YouTube?
First, DOJ really blew it for not even asking for a second request of information on Google's acquisition of YouTube.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2010-03-17 12:24
Google's unprecedented mass-accumulation of material non-public information may force a re-thinking and broader definition of the concept of insider information/trading and related securities laws/regulations, in order to continue to ensure the integrity of public markets.
Public market regulators responsible for protecting the integrity of public markets are likely to be concerned by this public admission by a publicly-traded Fortune 200 CEO, especially when the statements are put in a broader perspective by connecting the relevant dots.
Google's default "opt-all" - Appitalism investigation uncovers massive Google advertising overchargesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2010-03-15 15:59
A very important investigative scoop by Appitalism's Simon Buckingham (that has been submitted to the FTC's Google-AdMob antitrust investigators) uncovers how Google unilaterally, not-openly, and without advertisers' permission, changed the default settings in all of Google advertisers' accounts, which effectively "duped advertisers out of hundreds of millions of dollars."
In a nutshell, Mr. Buckingham's investigation found that two years ago, Google quietly changed the defaults of all its advertiser clients' accounts so that their ads were served not only to all desktop pcs/laptops, but also to all IP enabled mobile devices too.
This investigation prompts several disturbing takeaways.
First, this underscores how truly opaque the Google "Black Box" advertising business model is.