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Great read: "Google the first firewalled monopoly" by the Register

Cade Metz of the the Register, who is always insightful on the subject of Google, has a great piece I recommend: "Google the first firewalled monopoly: pricing power goes virtual."

Why Google lost the formal debate over its ethics -- And a compendium of Google's ethical lapses

Google effectively lost its first formal debate over whether "Google violates its own 'Don't Be Evil" motto" at the Rosenkranz Foundation's Oxford-style debate in New York City, November 18. (Transcript here).

  • Before the debate the audience was polled and voted 21% against Google and 31% for Google and 48% undecided; after the debate and learning more, 47% voted against Google and 47% voted for Google, and 6% undecided.
  • Apparently, most all of the undecideds voted against Google -- that Google violated their own 'don't be evil' motto. 

What does this mean?

Yang's "open" legacy is being overlooked going forward

Most are missing the lasting implications and legacy of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang's signature "Open" strategy, in all the media chatter about his demise and his successor. 

Yang set Yahoo on a new and different strategic trajectory philosophically and culturally -- i.e. that of the open source movement -- which is strategically Google-aligned and Microsoft-opposed.

  • As Yang said in a statement reported in the Washington Post, "it was important to re-envision the business for a different era to drive more effective growth. Having set Yahoo! on a new, more open path..." [bold added]
  • In the WSJ today was another example of Yang's open legacy and open source/wisdom of crowds philosophy and culture that his successor will inherit: "Mr. Yang's preference for letting employees reach consensus rather than make tough decisions himself..."

This means the cultural momentum and trajectory at Yahoo is to remain close to its "open source" philosophical ally Google regardless of the DOJ decision to oppose the Google-Yahoo ad partnership and despite its investor-correct public statements to the contrary about Microsoft.

Jerry Yang's legacy will not only be opposing shareholder interests in scuttling the Microsoft offer, but also the under-appreciated 'open strategy' he implemented that is designed to continue to thwart a Microsoft bid going forward. 

Washington Post: DOJ was right to block Google-Yahoo

Kudos to the Washington Post for an excellent editorial: "Searching for Dollars: The Justice Department rightly opposed a Google-Yahoo deal."

 

Conflict of Interest Questions for Google CEO Schmidt as a Transition Spokesman

Google CEO Schmidt apparently is representing that he is speaking for the President-Elect's Transition today in Washington given the attached press release, which twice mentions Mr. Schmidt's membership on the "Transition Economic Advisory Board" in an otherwise very brief release. 

  • Given the perception created, conflict of interest questions are relevant and should be asked of Mr. Schmidt today. 

 

Perception of Conflicts with the Transition Ethics Code:

Responding to more personal attacks on my views -- from People for Internet Responsibility no less!

Thanks to a competitive Internet I am grateful to be able to freely respond to personal attacks on me and my pro-Internet competition views.

 

Mr. Weinstein of www.PFIR.org, People for Internet Responsibility, recently criticized me in his blog, which is his right, however, he did it initially in a manner which appears to be at odds with how Mr. Weinstein has suggested everyone should responsibly conduct themselves on the Internet. In particular, I reference the statement below from PFIR’s website, which is the concluding paragraph of why Mr. Weinstein formed PFIR.

Google's in denial over Google-Yahoo antitrust problems -- is recidivism in Google's future?

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt is in deep denial over the antitrust implications of Google being blocked by the DOJ from brazenly trying to collude to divy up the search market with its biggest competitor Yahoo.

In an interview with the New York Times' Miguel Helft, Mr. Schmidt made a couple of very brazen assertions that will obviously concern DOJ antitrust officials and State Attorneys General interested in preserving Internet competition going forward.

First, Helft asked about the proposed Google-Yahoo deal: "...was it a mistake for Google to propose the deal in the first place?"

An Unrepentant Google Basically Taunts DOJ/State AGs to File an Antitrust Suit in the Future

Google remains its own worst enemy.

 

After dodging a certain DOJ antitrust suit from the most lenient antitrust enforcer in the modern era by withdrawing from the Yahoo ad agreement, Google’s CEO essentially spit at DOJ/State AG prosecutors by publicly and gratuitously saying: Google would have beaten the DOJ in court, nothing has changed, and that they were happy they reached out to Yahoo.

 

Google’s unrepentant stance was captured well in the New York Times article by Miguel Helft: Google and Yahoo Say Deal Would Have Survived a Suit.”

Breakingviews.com nailed Google-Yahoo demise

After reading most all of the coverage of the demise of the Google-Yahoo ad partnership, I wanted to flag what I thought was the best, which was in the Breakingviews.com section of the New York Times today by Constantine Courcoulas and Robert Cyran.

  • See this link  to the Breakingviews.com story, but be sure to skip the first unrelated story at the top and go the second story "Google Backs Off."

I couldn't agree more with it -- you can see why by checking out one of my earlier posts: "Why Google wins from Google-Yahoo postponements -- lessons from Machiavelli."  

DOJ explains why it would have sued to block Google-Yahoo if Google had not withdrawn

The DOJ released a statement explaining why it would have sued to block the Google-Yahoo ad partnership had Google not backed out of the arrangement.

In a nutshell, the DOJ said it was prepared to sue in Federal Court to block the proposed Google-Yahoo ad partnership because the DOJ concluded that:

  • The proposed agreement was anti-competitive and illegal;
  • Google has dominant market power in two "relevant anti-trust markets":
    • Internet search advertising, and
    • Internet search syndication;
  • Yahoo would have become a collaborator with Google rather than a competitor "materially reducing important competitive rivalry between" Google and Yahoo.

Bottom line:

Google has hit a very real antitrust wall. More importantly it is now front and center on the DOJ's radar screen as an aspiring Internet advertising monopolist willing to push the antitrust envelope -- unless the DOJ steps in to preserve Internet competition. 

While Google may not realize it, the world is now a very different place for Google -- it no longer has free rein to do whatever it pleases.

 

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