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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-06-06 09:52
6 June 2012
Dear Joaquín Almunia,
Thank you for your May 21 letter sharing your Google antitrust concerns, and for your offer of discussions to avoid "adversarial proceedings."
In this dispute among equals, we would like to counter with Google's concerns about your antitrust investigation.
First, no matter how many times we explain our business or how slowly we talk, your investigators can't seem to grasp the expanse of our algorithmic genius or the fact that our engineers are higher life forms not bound by the laws of man or nature. Going forward we will only talk to fellow gifted engineers.
Second, the velocity of Google's innovation and the fast-moving nature of these markets mean antitrust authorities can't keep up with us. By the time the EU figures out that we have monopolized one market, we will have monopolized many more. Surrender while you still can. Resistance is futile. Get over it.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-05-30 09:18
Kudos to the WSJ for publishing my Letter to the Editor challenging the central assumption of the WSJ editorial questioning antitrust action against Google because consumers benefit from Google's free search. My letter pointed out a false assumption begets a false analogy and an incorrect conclusion.
The text of my letter follows:
"The conclusions of The Competition Versus Google editorial rest on the false market assumption that Google search users are customers when they are not. Consumers using Google search pay Google nothing. Consumers are the product Google sells to advertisers and publishers. This false market assumption begets a false market analogy between the Google and Microsoft antitrust cases, because unlike Google, Microsoft's consumers were also Microsoft’s customers. Free market competition and antitrust law excel at serving customers’ market interests, which may or may not be consumers' interests. Incorrectly conflating these different interests confuses the real market forces and problems at work here."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-05-29 17:47
Are the FCC and DOJ paying attention? They say they want more wireless competition. Well the foundations of an economically-viable fifth national wireless broadband network are staring them in the face in the pending Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction, if only they would get on with approving it.
Critics and skeptics of the transaction have an obsolete and myopic view that competition must develop in the way that Congress first envisioned it seventeen years ago in the 1996 Telecom Act -- before the commercial Internet, residential WiFi, broadband wireless, smart phones or tablet computers ever existed. Critics are blind to the technology innovations, competitive developments and hybrid-business models that now are enabling the cable industry to transform into a potentially disruptive fifth national wireless broadband competitor long term.
FreePress' and Public Knowledge's desperate campaign to: discredit competition policy, twist any competitive development into anti-competitive behavior, and block the Verizon-Cable transaction -- can't overcome the obvious facts that this Verizon-Cable transaction is exceptionally pro-competitive.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-05-24 16:32
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-05-23 11:43
This week the EU issued a formal antitrust ultimatum to Google: recommend acceptable remedies or face prosecution for abusing monopoly power. This action has sweeping ramifications and enables one to make several educated conclusions.
1. EU has called Google's bluff on being cooperative.
2. Google is busted.
3. "Preferential treatment" is 99% of this EU-Google fight.
4. "Preferential treatment" is Google's business strategy.
5. As a self-declared publisher, Google competes with the web.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-05-21 09:35
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-05-15 11:51
Google's latest claimed antitrust get-out-of-jail-free-card is that Google is effectively immune from antitrust prosecution because it has a constitutional free speech right to free speech to rank and present its search results any way it wants, per a new Google-sponsored white paper by UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh. This effort is much more of a political argument and PR wish than a legal or antitrust argument, because neither the right to free speech nor any other right in the Constitution's Bill of Rights confers immunity from the rule of law foundation on which the rest of the U.S. Constitution rests. There are many reasons to be skeptical of Google's blanket claims of antitrust immunity via its free speech rights.
First, anybody that considers the many forms of illegal speech that are unprotected by the First Amendment: perjury, libel, slander, misrepresentation, lying under oath, fraud, deceptive practices, falsifying documents, collusion, conspiracy, impersonating a police officer, stealing, vandalism, graffiti, inciting a riot, etc., will take Google's imagined blanket immunity from antitrust laws on free speech grounds with a grain of salt. Google exaggerates its "free speech" rights to protection from antitrust, just like it exaggerates its "fair use" rights to take others' property without permission.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-05-14 14:59
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2012
Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407
Alliance for Broadband Competition Really Seeks Broadband Regulation
Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction promotes competition & the public interest
WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to the new "Alliance for Broadband Competition" opposition to the Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction, the following quotes may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition.org:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-05-09 18:45
Apparently Netflix is angling to become Silicon Valley's king of corporate welfare. We learn from a New York Times economics column advocating for an Internet industrial policy that "Netflix is trying to build a coalition of businesses to make the case for… net neutrality." And that the "online video powerhouse Netflix started a political action committee to complement a budding lobbying effort in support of the idea that all content must be allowed to travel through the Internet on equal terms" -- translation: always at no cost to Netflix.
But Netflix isn't in need of public assistance; it is America's video subscription leader with 23 million subscribers. Netflix has $3.3b in annual revenues, $1.2b in gross profits, $800m in cash, a 34% return on equity, and a market valuation multiple over twice the market's. And Netflix flexed its exceptional pricing power last year in raising its prices 60% without losing many subscribers.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-05-03 17:55
Opponents urging the FCC to block the Verizon-Cable secondary market spectrum transaction are pushing the FCC into dangerous institutional territory, effectively goading it to: overreach its statutory authority; ignore FCC precedent, evidence, and facts; and game its own spectrum-screen process. The same FreePress radical fringe -- that goaded the FCC to flout the D.C. Appeals Court decision and pass the Open Internet Order and Data-Roaming Order -- are at it again.
The FreePress radical fringe who care not for the rule of law, are again goading the FCC to trump up some new public interest rationale and statutory theory to allow the FCC to transmogrify its limited public interest authority into unbounded authority that disregards the law, FCC precedent, or the facts. This radical manipulation of the process may be good for forwarding FreePress' anti-business, Internet commons goals, but it is not good for the institution of the FCC, which is a creature of Congress and subject to the rule of law. And nor is it good for the American public.