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Google's Baaaaack!!! And the "kicker" from DoubleClick is still to come

Clearly the market badly under-estimated Google's strength and resilience in a slowing economy given the ~17% leap in Google's stock price in after hours trading.  

  • Google's notorious lack of openness with investors helped make the market inefficiently, way-over-cautious.

42% revenue growth for an $18b a year company is amazing.

  • It is also amazing for there to be a business of this size and global scope that strongly asserts to have a business model that is unaffected by the turmoil in the macro-economy.
  • It certainly suggests some market power and network effects at work here, because this strong performance and guidance on the effect of the macro-economy -- is not "normal."

What I find most interesting is I don't think that the market yet understands what a growth kicker the DoubleClick acquisition will be for Google going forward. Google was coy about it and did not connect-the-dots for investors -- that they clearly see.

Google co-founder admits to discriminating against US content to improve search results

Google co-founder Sergy Brin, one of Google's most avid net neutrality proponents, candidly admitted today in Google's 1Q08 earnings call with investors, that Google "improved" its international search quality by "demoting non-country search results" on Google's improved country home pages.

This is interesting for a few reasons.

The fatal flaws in Lessig-Scott net neutrality editorial sermon

Self-appointed Information Commons messiah Larry Lessig and his Free Press acolyte Ben Scott, advance a slew of "beliefs" that they assiduously proselytize wherever they can gather an audience.

FreePress' tantrum over Comcast-Pando agreement progress shows its not constructive/reasonable

FreePress' antagonistic and borderline hysterical response to the legitimate consumer-friendly progress made in the Comcast-Pando agreement to lead a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" shows FreePress' and the net neutrality movement's true colors and suggests that they are not interested in really advancing their stated goals, but in scoring political points and advancing their broader political agenda. They don't seem interested in solutions, because it appears that they are in the business creating and grandstanding about problems. 

Amazing that FreePress and SaveTheInternet had nothing good to say about this breakthrough agreement that finds common ground to start working towards what FreePress et al say they care about. Any reasonable person can see their are positive developments here and progress being made. See my post on this agreement highlighting its significance.

  • If Net neutrality proponents were genuinely interested in achieving or making progress towards their stated goals, they would have found something ositive to say about the clear progress the agreement made towards their stated goals and not had a knee jerk ad hominem attack that impugned the integrity of Comcast and Pando Networks.

As I said in my post, no good deed goes unpunished.

Seems like another observer agrees with this take:

More evidence Google's bidding against itself was improper in 700 MHz auction to trigger conditions

The more we learn about Google's behavior in the FCC's 700 Mhz auction the more clear it is Google acted improperly and "gamed" the auction and Fleeced the American taxpayer as I explained in my original post on this subject.

Another glaring example of Google not being "open" with its harmed users -- GrandCentral's outage

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has a great post about when Google's GrandCentral's phone company went down the morning of April 13th, Google users were left completely in the dark and not told anything on Google's website of when they could expect their phone service to return.

New cyber-security report highlights three threats Google is not warning users about

Kudos to Jon Swartz of USA Today for an article last week: "Hackers infiltrate search engines, social networks,"  and Byron Acohido in this week's  article "Anti-virus software isn't only computer security tool" for warning consumers that a Symantec cyber-security report shows a ~500% explosion in detected threats to Internet users from 2006-7.

Swartz' article highlights three new ways Google users are vulnerable to  identity theft, fraud, spyware, and malware threats

  • "Cybercriminals are using a chink in Google's website to redirect unsuspecting PC users to sites containing malicious software. When someone does a Google search, they are redirected to what appears to be a legitimate website. The site, in fact, is tainted with malware. Google says it is fixing the problem." 
  • "...the latest of three computer worms wriggled into Google's social-networking service, Orkut, in February."
  • "Scammers are sending personalized e-mail as meeting invitations in Google Calendar."

As the single biggest potential source of user vulnerability to cyber-threats on the Internet, why is Google not publicly disclosing the exploding risk and/or informing users how they can better protect themselves from these growing and serious cyber-threats?

Britain’s Virgin Media CEO colorfully opposes the corporate welfare of Net Neutrality

Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, Britain’s second-largest broadband provider, “called the principle of network neutrality—all content being delivered equally to all users—"a load of bollocks" per eWeek’s article: “Virgin Media may ignore network neutrality.”

  • Berkett said Virgin is considering a fee-based system for content providers wishing to have their traffic moved faster than others.”

After looking up the definition of “bollocks,” it is clear that his comments colorfully echo some of the same sentiments in America that prompted Google to work with Moveon.org to organize SaveTheInternet and ItsOurNet (the predecessor to the Open Internet Coalition) and manufacture the net neutrality issue out of whole cloth.

The comments and the article are a powerful reminder of the fantasy corporate welfare economics of net neutrality, where users are expected to bear all the costs of video distribution for companies like Google and Amazon.

Why "White Spaces" is just corporate welfare innovation

The Hill has a good article highlighting the growing "battle" over "White Spaces", or the potential for use of the buffer spectrum bands in-between TV channels to ensure that there is no interference with TV signals.

Google-Yahoo ad deal would also be a trial balloon testing FTC's antitrust mettle

The Wall Street Journal's scoop that Yahoo is considering a two week trial of outsourcing search to Google -- is also a trial balloon testing the FTC's antitrust mettle.

If you don't remember, the last sentence of the FTC's Majority opinion approving the Google-DoubleClick merger was a clear warning to Google:

  • "We want to be clear, however, that we will closely watch these markets and, should Google engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive conduct, the Commission intends to act quickly."

Let's also put this into context.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths