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.”

The Forgotten Consumer in the Fast Lane Net Neutrality Debate -- Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “The Forgotten Consumer in the Fast Lane Net Neutrality Debate” – here.

  • It explains how the whole “no fast lane” argument is misdirection that serves Silicon Valley’s interests at the expense of what’s best for empowering consumers.
  • It is Part 64 in my FCC Open Internet Order Series.

 

 

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FCC Open Internet Order Series

Why Settlements with Google Fail – Open Letter to New EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Unfortunately, the EC has learned the hard way. Settlements with Google don’t work.

First, Google’s leaders interpret DG-Comp’s publicly-signaled preference for a competition settlement over law enforcement to be a sign of sovereign weakness, and a lack of confidence in the EC’s sovereign resolve and law enforcement.

Second, Google’s leaders also interpret the EC’s repeated willingness to settle -- with no admission of Google wrongdoing/culpability and no meaningful penalty for past abuses of dominance – to practically mean that the EC’s sovereignty, rule of law and deterrent capability are all negotiable and open to surrender if Google pushes back hard enough.   

There is no other conclusion for Google’s leaders to reach. DG-Comp effectively surrendered its entire case three different times publicly: that Google is dominant, has abused its dominance, and warrants a fine and changed behavior.

In addition to that capitulation and pardon from responsibility for past abuses of dominance, DG-Comp also agreed to surrender the EC’s future sovereign authority to investigate Google search for five more years – almost the entire term of the next European Commission.

De-competition De-competition De-competition – My Daily Caller Op-ed

 

Please read my Daily Caller op-ed: “De-competition De-competition De-competition” here.

  • De-competition is regulation that undermines competition in order to justify more regulation.

As one can see from the “de-competition” series below, this isn’t the first time the FCC has turned to de-competition policy.

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FCC De-Competition Series

Part 1:Harms of a Potential New FCC De-Competition Policy – Reply Comments to FCC Open Internet NPRM [4-5-10]

NetCompetition Comments to FCC Opposing Title II Utility Regulation of Broadband

 

FCC Open Internet Order Remand Request for Comments (GN Docket No. 14-28) Submitted by: Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition, September 9, 2014

The case against the FCC regulating broadband as a telephone utility is overwhelming. Please see eight strong arguments against FCC Title II reclassification of broadband below.

The Summary Case against FCC Title II Reclassification of Broadband

 

  1. The FCC rejected Title II reclassification in 2010 for many good reasons.

  2. Broadband info services classification is consistent with law, national policy, and FCC precedent.

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.

The FCC’s Redefinition of Broadband Competition

 

What is the FCC’s definition of “competition?” That is the defining question and take-away from FCC Chairman Wheeler’s latest broadband speech, “The Facts and Future of Broadband Competition.”  

Tellingly the Chairman said: “Since my first day as Chairman of the FCC my mantra has been consistent and concise: Competition, Competition, Competition.” Well then, it seems especially important to understand exactly what the FCC Chairman means when he says the FCC is singularly focused on “Competition.”  

Why is Silicon Valley Rebranding/Redefining Net Neutrality?

 

Via their Congresswoman, Silicon Valley is trying to redefine net neutrality for their benefit under the benign guise of “rebranding.”

Their desired re-definition is that net neutrality now should be the principle that “all bits are created equal.”

This is an unreasonable utopian escalation of the net neutrality debate. An “all bits are created equal” or “bit equality” principle would be a radical departure from the current decade-old “network neutrality” principle that the American Internet has long operated under.

Everyone knows that “neutrality” and “equality” are not synonyms and are not honestly used as interchangeable concepts in conversation, policy discourse, branding, or the law.

NetCompetition’s FCC Comments – Don’t Preempt State Muni Broadband Laws

There are two core reasons the FCC should not try to preempt State muni-broadband laws.

  1. The Supreme Court has already indicated it would be unconstitutional.  
  2. It would be anti-competitive, the opposite of the FCC’s statutory purpose and legal mandate.

 

I.  Why FCC Preemption of States Rights would be Unconstitutional

First, the Supreme Court already has decided this issue effectively in favor of state rights. In Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League (2004) the Supreme Court rejected federal preemption of state prohibitions on telecom services. It specifically rejected the use of the FCC’s Title II section 253(a) authority to preempt state prohibitions of localities offering telecom services on constitutional federalism grounds.

Debunking Consumerist Bogus Claim Mobile Data Does Not Compete with Cable

 

Pro-regulation interests often resort to highly misleading arguments to advance their cause. Fortunately that kind of deception ultimately exposes the weakness of their underlying argument and public policy position.

To promote Netflix’ “strong” version of net neutrality regulation and to oppose the Comcast-TWC acquisition, Consumerist just framed a very deceptive whopper competition argument: “Comcast says mobile data is competitive, but it costs $2k to stream Breaking Bad over LTE.”

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths