You are here

Antitrust

Google taking share despite revenue decline in Internet advertising -- new IAB report

Google took substantial market share from their Internet advertising competitors in 1Q08. Google's U.S. Internet advertising revenue grew ~7% sequentially from 4Q07 to 1Q08, while the Internet advertising revenues of Google's competitors fell ~8% during that same period, per newly released IAB figures and Google's 4Q08 figures.  

  • Google's Internet advertising dominance appears to be accelerating as all its sequential U.S. growth is coming from competitors' market share -- not from growth in the Internet advertising marketplace -- which appears to be one quarter into a sequential Internet advertising recession.
    • More simply, if Google was not able to take substantial sequential market share from its competitors in 1Q08, Google probably would not have grown revenue sequentially in the U.S last quarter. 

In 1Q08 Google now controls ~45% of all U.S. Internet advertising revenues, which is up from ~42% in 2007, which is up from 35% in 2006, and which is up from 30% in 2005 -- according to base numbers reported by IAB and Google.

Why not a Marketer Bill of Rights for the Google-Yahoo Cartel?

To the extent Google and Yahoo's new partnership in search and display advertising diminishes #2 Yahoo's viability to competitively discipline #1 Google's dominance of search and online advertising, online marketers and advertisers need Google-Yahoo to commit to respect a "Marketer Bill of Rights."

  • Google-Yahoo jointly control:
    • 83% of U.S. search advertising share per eMarketer; and
    • 64% of all U.S. Internet advertising revenue per the IAB.
  • Google's has ~1,000,000 advertisers in its network, compared to Yahoo's ~300,000 and Microsoft's ~75,000.

Marketer's Bill of Rights for the Google-Yahoo Cartel:

U.S. marketers do not currently enjoy, but should have the right to:

  • Competition among application and service providers of search, display and other forms of online advertising.  
    • Independent third-party oversight, audit and dispute resolution of their auctions, practices, bans, and internal controls.
  • Fair representation and truth in advertising through the open, full and public disclosure of all of Google-Yahoo's joint and individual financial conflicts-of-interests.

Google-Yahoo partnership: Not if, but when it becomes anti-competitive

The new Google-Yahoo partnership to better converge the search and display markets is skating on thin antitrust ice that will only get thinner over time -- unless Microsoft or some unknown competitor somehow starts taking lots of market share from the new Goohoo. 

What are the important takeaways here? 

First, at core, the Google-Yahoo partnership is clearly about trying to snuff out Microsoft as a competitive force on the web. 

Google CEO on Google changing the world with minimal accountability

In two speeches this week, Google's CEO illuminated more about Google's master plan to "change the world" -- with minimal accountability.

To be fair, I am connecting two ideas from separate speeches by Google's CEO Eric Schmidt this week, that were shared separately but need to be connected to put them into better context. 

What's Google got to hide? Google's CEO Schmidt ducks questions from the real free press

I couldn't help to notice yesterday that Google CEO Schmidt didn't take any questions from reporters who were in attendance or meet with the reporter pool afterwards, which is customary for speaking venues like Dr. Schmidt's speech Monday at the Economic Club of Washington.

What's Google got to hide in Washington?

  • Could it be that Google does not think that questions of a leading corporate CEO, who is now Chairman of the New America Foundation think tank concerning: antitrust, privacy, consumer protection, good government, transparency, openness, tax, net neutrality, and broadband Universal Service -- are not considered legitimate questions or fair game in Washington?
  • Do public questions of public leaders seeking ambitious changes in public policy and public discourse, not warrant an open forum for questions from a free press in a democracy?

Bottom line: It appears the only kind of "free press" that Google embraces is its advocacy group ally that calls itself FreePress, which is the operation which de facto runs point for Google's net neutrality public policy agenda in Washington.

Relevant Washington questions to ask Google CEO Schmidt at his speech Monday in Washington

Given that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is delivering a major speech at the Economic Club of Washington Monday June 9th lunch, given that Google's business model is all about delivering "relevancy" to users, and given that Google's public policy mantra is "openness," I have assembled some suggested Washington-relevant questions for reporters and others to ask Dr. Schmidt at and after this open forum.

  • The subjects of the questions are: antitrust, privacy, consumer protection, good government, transparency, openness, tax, net neutrality, and broadband Universal Service

Antitrust: 

  • If, per the FTC, search is a "unique" or separate market, why wouldn't a search-partnership between #1 Google and #2 Yahoo be illegal collusion when Google already partners with #4 AOL and #5 Ask.com -- and when the four search partners would comprise a de facto search cartel controlling over 90% of the revenues in the U.S. search market?

Privacy:

  • Should consumers and Congress be concerned with Google exploiting a privacy regulation loophole to offer personal health records management, when independent watchdog group Privacy International ranked Google worst in the world on privacy and Google refuses to comply with California law requiring posting Google's privacy policy prominently on its home page?  

Consumer Protection:

Unleashed: Transcript of Griffin/Cleland talk on Google, net neutrality, monopolies, click fraud, privacy

For those who like the written format, here is the link to the transcript of Chip Griffin's interview of me on all things Google.

This interview turned out to be one of the most comprehensive and in-depth discussions I have had on all things Google -- that's been captured for web listening or reading.

We discussed:

Unleashed! Why I focus so much on Google -- Listen to Chip Griffin's interview of me...

Here is the link to Chip Griffin's 28 minute interview of me on "Conversations with Chip Griffin," an in-depth conversation about many of the reasons why I believe Google is becoming such a big problem and why I personally spend so much time focused on Google.

I believe you will find it an informative, interesting, and entertaining interview covering all things Google, the online economy, net neutrality etc.

  • Enjoy!  

Why a Lack of Openness Sullies the Integrity of Google's Ad Auctions

Does Google warrant the current exceptional leap-of-faith in the integrity of its dominant ad auction model, given its near total lack of openness, transparency, independent auditability, or third party oversight? There is a growing body of evidence that Google does not.

  • The New York Times article today by Miguel Helft: "The Human Hands behind the Google Money Machine" is a must read for anyone following Google or concerned about the openness and transparency of public markets. It is also a little treasure trove of fresh information on Google.

Why a lack of openness sullies the integrity of Google's ad auctions.

First, it is widely accepted that public markets operate best when open and transparent.

Google's ad auction model has become one of the world's most important public markets. Google is increasingly becoming the world's primary public information broker. Google brokers: 

  • Information for over 700 million search users worldwide, over three to six times their nearest rivals;
  • Advertisement placement for over a million advertisers several times more than their nearest competitors;
  • Monetization for over a million websites several times more than their nearest competitors.

Google is also not open or transparent.

Can you trust Google to obey the rules? Is Google accountable to anyone?

In monitoring Google as closely as I do, it has become increasingly clear that Google does not believe it has to obey the rules, standards, regulations and laws, that others routinely obey and respect. Google increasingly operates like a self-declared, virtual sovereign nation, largely unaccountable to the rules and mores of the rest of the world.     

  • There is plentiful evidence of Google's unaccountability; see the following analysis peppered generously with source links. 

The impetus for this analysis and documentation was Saul Hansel's outstanding New York Times Blog: "Google fights for the right to hide its privacy policy." 

  • In a nutshell, Mr. Hansel spotlighted how Google is refusing to abide by the Network Advertising Initiative's rule that its members must display a link to their privacy policy on their home page; and that this industry self-regulatory body is expected to bend its rules specifically to accomodate Google.
  • This is no isolated incident, shirking the accountability that most everyone else respects is near standard operating procedure for Google. 

Is Google accountable to anyone?    

First, can public shareholders hold Google accountable?

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths