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Net Neutrality Proponents Pyrrhic Senate Victory

The Senate's 52-46 rejection of the Resolution of Disapproval of the FCC's net neutrality regulations (after the House voted differently 240-179 to disapprove last spring), is a classic pyrrhic victory for net neutrality proponents in two big ways.

First, the issue put the FCC on the political radar screen of every Member of Congress, and not in a good way.

For several hours the Senate debated and then officially voted on whether the Constitutionally-authorized Congress should be the entity to effectively establish new Internet law, or whether unelected FCC commissioners with no direct statutory authority from Congress should be able to effectively establish new Internet law and effectively claim boundless unchecked regulatory power whenever they see fit.

Supporters of the FCC were put in the very awkward position of politically having to defend a constitutional/legal position that:

 

  • Is strongly contrary to the Senate's institutional interests; and
  • Involves preemptive regulation of a major swath of the economy without credible evidence of any existing problem -- all in the midst of a weak economy badly struggling to create jobs.

 

The Politics of Regulating the Internet

As the Senate prepares to vote on the fate of the FCC's net neutrality regulations this week, it's instructive to look more closely at the politics of regulating the Internet.

Read my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here.

Why Anti-Piracy Legislation Will Become Law

Pending anti-piracy legislation (Senate: PROTECT IP, House: SOPA) is very likely to become law in 2012.

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here to learn why, and why it is important.

Google Too Fast and Loose for LAPD

How could Google fail to meet the security needs of the City of Los Angeles in its trophy government cloud contract?

Learn why in my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here, entitled "Google Too Fast and Loose for LAPD."

Google's Playing with Antitrust Fire Courting Yahoo

Reports that Google is involved in financing a potential buyout offer of Yahoo’s core business indicate Google is playing with antitrust fire.

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here to learn why.

 

Google's Earnings Spotlight Its Antitrust Liabilities

Google's 3Q11 earnings call and release provided lots of new and relevant evidence to the many antitrust investigations of Google going on around the world.

  • See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here that explains the four big antitrust takeaways from the Google earnings call.

Google 21st Century Robber Baron

See my Forbes post "Google 21st Century Robber Baron" which briefly tells the story of Google's Robber Baron rap sheet, in advance of Google's Wednesday Senate antitrust hearing.

  • The post is documented with 79 links to the supporting evidence.

The post also explains why Google's Board of Directors have been AWOL while all this scofflaw behavior has been going on.

FTC-Google Antitrust Primer: Top Ten Q&A

Find an FTC-Google Antitrust Primer here that asks and answers the Top Ten Questions about:

  • Google's admission it has received a subpoena and is under formal investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for antitrust violations; and
  • What the FTC is likely investigating and thinking, given that the FTC cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

This primer is based on a combination of new analysis and an update of the best of four years of Google antitrust research, which can be found at: www.Googleopoly.net.

The Top Ten Q&A are:

Google has 93.7% Share of U.S. Search Revenues & Is Rapidly Taking Share

 

With reports of the FTC's looming antitrust investigation of Google, it is highly-relevant that Google now has ~93.7% of U.S. revenue share of search advertising and that Google has taken ~26% of the search advertising revenue share that it did not have a year ago.

  • Google continues to relentlessly gobble up massive search advertising revenue share from its only significant competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft (which have combined forces in search in the last year), in part because:
    • Google's relevant search revenues are 24x bigger than Yahoo's and 39x bigger that Microsoft's; and
    • Google is growing its huge search revenue base so much faster -- +27% to Yahoo's -19% and Microsoft's +14%.
      • (These revenue share calculations are relatively easy to do -- they are explained in detail at the end of this post.)

 

Many do not realize that antitrust authorities already believe that Google is a monopoly, because the most commonly cited market share numbers in the media are from ComScore, which tracks share of searches not search advertising revenue share.

FCC is Losing the Wireless Future

It will be surprising if the Republican FCC Commissioners and a bipartisan majority of Congress do not oppose the FCC's unwarranted war on wireless competition policy.

 

  • The FCC appears to be itching to start another political battle over competition policy with its upcoming fifteenth wireless competition report to Congress, by making another political decision devoid of supporting evidence or merit, that the wireless market does not have "effective competition."
    • Such a fantastical political finding, helps the FCC to ignore Congress and the law yet again, and also to unilaterally impose new sweeping economic regulations on wireless, including net neutrality.

 

The linchpin of the FCC's de-competition policy to restore the FCC to its pre-1996 monopoly regulation glory days, and to put the FCC in more control of the communications sector going forward, is to politically define away the existence of "effective competition," in order to justify FCC regulation of the mobile Internet.

 

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths