Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-05-30 19:09
Ad Age reports that the two largest Advertising Associations have asked antitrust officials to look into the spate of major advertising acquisitions; Google-DoubleClick, Microsoft aQuantive, Yahoo-Right Media, and WPP-24/7 Real Media.
The thrust of the letter:
"During the past month, there have been several major acquisition announcements in the online advertising marketplace... These mergers, if approved, certainly would change the online advertising marketplace. As such, those proposed combinations deserve careful scrutiny. It is essential to ensure that none of these combinations restrict competition in the Internet advertising marketplace."
Why is this significant?
First, the advertising community does not like to make waves or speak ill of any potential client -- in any way in public -- it goes against their normal business practice.
Second, I think they are genuine in their shock and bewilderment that their entire industry has been transformed before their eyes in a matter of weeks.
It is my view that there is a whole lot more going on here than meets the eye.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-05-29 13:27
Google's dominance of the search industry continues....
Can you say:
Can you say:
Percentage of US Searches Among Leading Search Engine Providers
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-05-29 13:16
The San Diego Union-Tribune "gets it" -- in its editorial on Google:
A couple of my favorite parts of this dead on editorial:
"Google's emergence as one of the scariest companies on the planet continues with a story in the Financial Times describing the Silicon Valley firm's goal of maximizing and cataloging personal information gleaned from every user's use of its vastly popular search engine."
"... but should mortify Google's users â€“ because the company has never come close to adequately acknowledging the vast privacy concerns raised by its already massive database."
"... The potential for government snooping, harassment, financial manipulation, blackmail and all sorts of online crime is stunning."
Add to the list of scary things Google is working on is a "truth meter" where Google CEO Eric Schmidt posited in FT just before the last US congressional election, that in the future Google could help voters gauge in real time whether a politician was telling the "truth" or not.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-05-29 10:59
Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will substantively investigate the proposed Google-DoubleClick merger.
- This comes on the heels of an AP report that "an Independent European Union panel has launched an investigation into whether Google Inc.'s Internet search engine abides by European Union privacy rules." Google's search share in Europe is reportedly 75% and 90% in Germany, so we should all expect the EU to also play a formal and significant role in the review of Google-Doubleclick.
Why is the FTC review development significant?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-05-25 18:40
Senate Democrats are attempting to sneak through the back door what they cannot get through the front door of the "free and open" policy process.
The Inouye "Broadband Data Improvement Act" is really a long term trojan horse for net neutrality and heavy regulation of broadband.
The clever ruse in this innocuous-sounding language is to redefine broadband competition as a total abject failure, and to declare broadband market failure, so the pro-regulatory types can regulate broadband becuase it is not competitive, or is at best a future duopoly.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-05-24 18:43
I'd like to welcome back to the playing field, the reconstituted "ItsOurNet Coalition" which inexplicably went away in January, but has now returned as "The Open Internet Coalition!"
Now we finally know what they were doing while they were gone from the scene for four months...
They were losing weight.
The coalition shed the excess pounds of Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon.
Now the new "slimmed down" coalition can be faster, more nimble and united around being pro-regulatory for others.
I was frankly surprised that the new group chose not to be forthright and embrace its new "slimmed-down" public physique.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-05-24 14:20
Self-described "Internet inventor" and former Vice President Al Gore has a newly released book "The Assault on Reason" in which he comes out of the shadows and into the limelight as a leading public proponent of net neutrality.
The Save the Internet coalition blogged/bragged about the book in its post: Al Gore: Net Neutrality is the key to a better democracy." They lifted some Gore quotes that gave them lots of "warm fuzzies" inside:
â€œneutrality should be the central tenet that will set us on a path toward an open, democratic Internet where free speech and free markets are encouraged.â€?
- â€œMore than one and a half million citizens contacted Congress and more than eight hundred organizations joined the SavetheInternet Coalition, organized by the upstart media reform organization Free Press, using innovative online mobilization tactics â€¦â€?
- Thank you Mr. Gore from coming out from the shadows and coming clean by publicly endorsing the efforts of, and tacitly acknowledging your strong ringleader role in managing "Google's poodles", SaveTheInternet and FreePress.
- The still unanswered question is how many tens of millions of dollars has Mr. Gore made from his boatload of Google options/warrants granted to him as "Senior Advisor" to Google?"
- And where are the disclosures in the book that most all of Mr. Gore's multi-ten million dollar net worth is in Google shares -- constituting a huge undisclosed conflict of interest on the issue of net neutrality.
â€œI truly believe the most important factor is the preservation of the Internetâ€™s potential for becoming the new neutral marketplace of ideas that is so needed for the revitalization of American democracy,â€? he writes. â€œPeople are not only fighting for free speech online, but they are also working to keep the Internet a decentralized, ownerless medium of mass communication and commerce.â€?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-05-24 13:02
Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Kohl (D-WI) wrote the DOJ urging them to block the XM-Sirius merger.
It is an exceptionally persuasive and compelling letter that effectively eviscerates XM-Sirius' contention that satellite radio is not a separate market.
I believe this letter is a good "precursor" for what the DOJ will think and do.
This letter also reached the same conclusion I reached shortly after the merger was announced and which I blogged on in my previous post "XM-Sirius: The emperor has no clothes" 3-31-07.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-05-23 16:19
The Post Gazette reports today that:
"The House passed legislation Tuesday to combat the criminal use of Internet spyware and scams aimed at stealing personal information from computer users.
Spyware, said bill sponsor Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., "is one of the biggest threats to consumers on the Internet." She and other lawmakers cited estimates that up to 90 percent of computers in this country are infected with some form of spyware.
Spyware is software that secretly collects information about a person or organization and sends it to another entity without the user's consent..."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-05-23 11:15