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Why isn't Google more "open" with investors?

I must admit I have been amused watching the market's angst over trying to figure out if Google's growth is slowing down given that Comscore has reported that paid clicks have fallen 3% from January to February of this year.

First, I am amused because Comscore also showed that Google gained market share during that same period from 59.2% from 58.5%. 

Net neutrality is like an FDR "New Deal" for the Internet -- per two leading proponents

Two leading proponents of net neutrality, believe the push for net neutrality is akin to FDR's pushing for the "New Deal," which was the penultimate Big Government, wealth redistribution effort in U.S. history.   

We learn this candid admission of true beliefs from the Washington Post, which today lionized Ben Scott, the amiable leader of activist organization Free Press, in an article entitled: "Net Neutrality's Quiet Crusader."  

  • "Scott's kindred spirit at the FCC might be Democratic commissioner Michael J. Copps, also a student of history who recently read a biography on Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Scott and Copps recently bonded over the book, drawing comparisons between the New Deal and net neutrality."
  • ""There have been policy moments in the past when the market has been shaped by decisions made in Washington -- radio in the 1930s, television in the 1950s and cable in the 1980s. That moment is now for the Internet," said Scott..."

Let's review the history here that Mr. Scott waxes nostalgically about. Radio in 1930's, TV in the 1950's, and cable in the 1980's -- was about Washington "shaping them market" by regulating these technologies and businesses much more than they were before. 

More on Google opposing net neutrality for Google; and Google's radical Burning Man Festival roots

In my previous blog post I flagged a Reuters article that highlighted that Google asked its shareholders to oppose a shareholder vote that Google should abide by net neutrality itself, even though it is the single biggest proponent of mandating net neutrality for all its competitors -- on the planet.

Today I came across a quote in Investors Business Daily's section on quotes, "Wisdom to Live By" and found one that the radically-liberal founders of Google should ponder:

  • "Its not fair to ask others to do what you are unwilling to do yourself."  Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady to the ultimate uber-liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Alas, I don't hold out much hope that Google will ever see this as a double standard because they are so committed to Google's Motto: "Don't be evil" and because they like to insinuate that most every other corporation is evil...

If you think I am being "unfair" in labeling Google's founders radically-liberal, check out The Burning Man Festival gathering that Google's founders avidly and regularly have attended.

Google Board recommmends against applying Net Neutrality to Google

Per Reuters, Google's board is recommending that its investors vote against a shareholder proposal from the New York City Employee Retirement System that asks Google to commit to abiding by Net Neutrality.

  • Why would Google, which avidly supports:
    • All pending net neutrality legislation in Congress;
    • the Save the Internet and Open Internet coalitions which were created to promote net neutrality;
    • Open access/Net neutrality rules for wireless in the FCC's 700 MHz auction;
      • oppose living by the same rules as it wishes to apply to its competitors?
  • Why would Google avidly support the FCC's net neutrality principles, which explicitly apply to: "network providers, application and service providers, and content providers", but not agree to apply them to Google itself? 

Bottom line Questions:

Yahoo-Google "dis" Microsoft in OpenSocial hug -- the real reason for the new alliance

Apparently, Yahoo is trying to douse itself with some "Microsoft-repellant" in joining Google's OpenSocial allance and forming a non-profit OpenSocial Foundation with Google and MySpace.

While Yahoo's OpenSocial press release never mentioned Microsoft, the impetus for this change of heart by Yahoo was clearly a way to "dis" Microsoft and make Yahoo marginally less attractive to Microsoft.

Surprise! Google is concerned a Microsoft-Yahoo merger would hurt the Internet

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt must have an extremely dry sense of humor.


Google's growing undisclosed "conflicts of interest" are bearing their teeth

New evidence exposes that Google has much more serious financial conflicts of interest and is much less of an "honest broker" of online advertising than most appreciate. 

How redefining broadband's lowest speed could be anti-competition & undermine universal broadband availability

I was surprised and concerned to read in Comm Daily today that the FCC's broadband data collection rulemaking "is expected to swap the FCC minimum speed for broadband -- 200 kbps -- for a tiered approach. The lowest tier would set 768 kbps as the minimum speed, an FCC source said."

  • I certainly hope this is not the case, as it could have a ton of negative unintended consequences which I will outline below.

How could changing the baseline minimum definition of what is broadband turn out to be anti-competition and undermine the universal availability of broadband?

Google-YouTube's "open" hypocrisy in YouTube's new expanded API

Kudos to CNET's article "YouTube's expanded API not for everybody" which exposes Google's hypocrisy in  pushing for everyone else BUT Google-YouTube to have open and non-discriminatory access to their networks. (Remember: Google is leading the Open Internet Coalition to mandate net neutrality for all broadband providers; Google is leading the wireless open access push for more open wireless APIs; and Google asked the court to extend Microsoft's decree and keep their API's open.)

It is telling that Google-YouTube's API (Application Programming Interface) terms of service BLOCKS any commercial competitor seeking to generate advertising from using the API.

  • This is an interesting discriminatory position for Google-YouTube which supposedly subscribes to the information commons philosophy of the Open Internet and which also happens to have the dominant share of video streaming market per ComScore (Google-YouTube has seven times the viewer share as any other video-streaming provider.)

Bottom line: What's good for Google is not good for the Gander.

  • Google believes it is "special,"  and that one set of rules should apply to Google and its wholly-owned companies like YouTube, and another set of much more onerous rules should apply to all of their potential competitors.   

Professor Wu, Father of Net Neutrality, calling for "law breaking" to advance net neutrality?

Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term "net neutrality" is reportedly now advocating "law breaking" to advance the "information commons" agenda, which believes Internet infrastrructure, spectrum and content should be publicly owned and not privately owned.  

  • Communications Daily quoted Professor Wu on March 11, 2008:
    • "To move things along, unlicensed users should start occupying unused spectrum for wireless broadband, Wu said: "You gotta start somewhere, and it always starts with law-breaking.""
  • My experience is that Comm Daily is careful to accurately quote people and if Professor Wu did not to clarify his remarks, we can assume them to be accurate. I also have not seen a clarification of this after two more publications. 
  • I would also like to extend the courtesy to Professor Wu to be able to qualify his remarks that they were meant to be flippant, or a joke, or that he really didn't mean to call to publicly encourage people to break the law.
    • He could resolve this issue with a simple blog post.  

That said, it is very troubling to any public civility minded person who believes in the rule of law and respect for property, that such a prominent person as Professor Wu (who coined the term net neutrality, and who proposed Caterfone open access rules for the 700 MHz auction) would advocate "law-breaking" to advance his political agenda.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths