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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-01-22 19:12
An interesting and relevant antitrust milestone is coming for Google -- maybe as soon as this year -- Google is poised to pass the significant 50% market share "dominant" threshold in antitrust.
This is relevant because when Google exceeds 50% market share, the antitrust "rule of thumb" is that Google will be considered by antitrust authorities to be a "dominant" company.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-01-22 15:54
In my ongoing "hypocrisy watch" service, eBay is back in the news again not being neutral at the same time they are pleading to Congress to pass a law forcing their broadband competitors to be neutral. The recent Forbes article "Why so Worried?" reminds everyone about how in July eBay banned the use of Google's Checkout, a competitor to eBay's PayPal.
I blogged on this topic twice before, in July I defended eBay's right to competitively differentiate and be hypocritical, and in Decmber I blogged on how Google was not abiding by neutrality principles with it's Checkout competitive tactics.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-01-22 10:41
Bret Swanson in his WSJ editorial over the weekend "The Coming Exaflood" provides a real service to the net neutrality debate -- he forces the discussion to focus more on how we must deal with the coming explosion of demand for capacity on the Internet.
Net neutrality is a classic liberal big government idea that is all about trying to carve up the pie of today to be more fair, while assuming that somebody else will always make more pie for them to carve up.
The insanity of the net neutrality position is that its advocates assume future capacity will be there magically. That capacity will be there, only if there is a functioning marketplace that allows those private network operators that carry the traffic that comprises the Internet are able to earn a return on their investment in new Internet capacity. Otherwise, the Government will have to tax and spend to subsidize it. There is no free lunch.
The insanity of the online giants' position with ItsOurNet, is that they believe they should get a free ride and that the consumer should have to shoulder the entire cost of increasing the capacity of the Internet.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-01-19 12:30
Kudos to Dave Farber and Michael Katz on their very persuasive and compelling Op Ed in the Washington Post opposing net neutrality. I strongly endorse their perspective and wisdom.
I feel great kinship with their point of view. There is no problem here. And there is a lot of harm and unintended consequences that can result from preemptively regulating the Internet.
Like David and Mike, I am well aware of the potential problems that market power could have. I have a long and public record of standing up to monopoly behavior that I viewed as out of bounds. But I am also a fact and analysis person. The facts and the analysis show this is a competitive marketplace becoming even more competitive in the future.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-01-19 09:49
Robert Kahn, known as the co-father of the Internet along with Google's Vint Cerf, opposes net neutrality becuase it would inhibit necessary experimentation and innovation. Kudos to a great article in the Register on this.
The fact that Network engineers like Robert Kahn and Dave Farber oppose net neutrality make it clear that net neutrality is not this simple benign policy. It is very dangerous preemptive legislation that presumes to perfectly know the future to allow them to lock in for perpetuity one interation of the Internet.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-01-17 18:44
I just got around to watching House telecom Subcommittee Chariman Ed Markey address the Memphis media reform conference and was struck that he felt the need to go out of his way to defend Google and only Google at this strongly anti-business forum.
With all due respect Mr. Chairman, "Why should we protect Google?" is precisely the right question.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-01-16 13:51
The respected National Journal has a very interesting article about YouTube and how it may be choosing sides or is not "neutral." It's an important quick read; kudos to National Journal for focusing on it.
Why is this noteworthy?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-01-16 10:24
It is the height of hypocrisy that non-neutral Google/Yahoo, with 77% share of the search market and rising, continues to assert that the neutrally-operating phone and cable companies are duopolists that endanger the free and open web. Google and Yahoo are increasingly dominant search gatekeepers for the Internet. ComScore's latest figures show Google with 47.3%, Yahoo with 28.5%, market share and rising -- and #3 Microsoft 10.5%, and #4 IAC Ask at 5.4% and falling.
Why this is so hypocritical is that:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-01-12 10:37
To commemorate the "Seinfeld-ian" aspect of "net neutrality being a show about nothing," NetCompetition.org has introduced a prominent, "What's the Problem?" daily ticker on the NetCompetition.org site.
It has been 1,516 days or over four years, since the term "net neutrality" was first used publicly and that there has been no net neutrality mandate.
*Professor Lawrence Lessig is credited with making up the term "net neutrality". Its a clever, but vacuous term that has caught on.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-01-10 17:50
There are several telling indications that net neutrality remains a political and partisan issue and is not a serious legislative/policy issue or industry problem.
First, the only change in the Senate net neutrality bill just introduced, was to change its name from Snowe-Dorgan to Dorgan-Snowe to reflect the new Democratic changeover of Congress. Other than that, the actual bill language is identical to last yearâ€™s bill -- according to Senator Dorganâ€™s spokesperson and my review of the two bills.
Second, isnâ€™t it very telling that the sponsors have learned nothing, let me repeat nothing, since they introduced their bill eight months ago that might have made their bill better or attracted more consensus?