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The Market’s Ignoring Google’s Many New FCC Common Carrier Liabilities

I.  Summary

Google’s market capitalization has approached a half trillion dollars as its stock hit an all time high, because of a positive quarterly profit surprise and because Google’s new CFO signaled that “Google cost discipline” may no longer be an investment oxymoron.

The market appears to be ignoring that Google’s legal status as a corporation changed in 2Q15 to an FCC Title II regulated common carrier that is subject to very strict and preemptive behavioral non-discrimination requirements to mitigate potential abuse of market power on Google’s network -- per the FCC’s new Open Internet Order which reclassified Internet infrastructure as Title II common carriage regulated to enforce strict net neutrality.

This analysis of Google’s many new common carrier liabilities has four parts: I) the investment and regulatory relevance of Google being a common carrier; II) the evidence of Google being a major Internet access player via the surprising size of its Internet infrastructure, communications, traffic carriage, and market power; III) a listing and explanation of Google’s many new FCC common carrier liabilities, including nine potential net neutrality violations, three privacy, and three transparency; and IV) a conclusion about what this could mean for Google and its valuation going forward.

FCC’s New Do Not Track List Authority

Will the FCC create an Internet “Do Not Track” list like the FTC created the “Do Not Call” list enjoyed by three quarters of Americans?

In ruling the Internet to be subject to common carrier consumer protection law, the Obama FCC’s recently passed Open Internet Order applied common carrier privacy law (Section 222) to Internet telecommunications as part of the FCC’s unilateral efforts to modernize communications law for the 21st century.

The Obama FCC’s Open Internet Order also ruled that the Internet now encompasses the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and that an IP address is the functional equivalent of a telephone number.

Thus, logically it could follow that information that’s considered legally private in the telephone world now could be considered legally private in the Internet world.   

This central consumer protection question should come up this week as the FCC hosts a Section 222 public workshop to explore the FCC’s “role in protecting the privacy of consumers who use” the Internet.

What is Section 222?

It is a common carrier provision of the Communications Act entitled “Privacy of Customer Information.”

EU Charges Spotlight Google’s Self-Dealing Power

Facts belie Google’s rote denials that it is dominant, and that favoring its own content over competitors is anti-competitive in the EU. As this post will prove below, the public facts are overwhelming that Google is dominant and self-dealing.

But first, look closely and witness that the entirety of Google’s antitrust defense is essentially political -- that the EU’s antitrust law and precedent shouldn’t be different or tougher than America’s. Specifically, Google essentially is arguing that the EU shouldn’t have a lower market share threshold to be legally considered dominant and the EU shouldn’t have presumption in law that if dominant, the dominant company has “a special responsibility not to allow its conduct to impair competition on the common market.”

That’s wishful whining; it is not a legal antitrust defense in Europe.

It is only fitting that Google faces a Danish prosecutor in EC VP Margrethe Vestager. That’s because Google currently is acting out the role of emperor in the most famous Danish fable by Hans Christian Anderson, the “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Googlegate -- The FTC Cover-up Evidence Piles Up

The FTC’s Googlegate cover-up problem is that while the FTC may be telling the truth, they apparently are not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Don’t miss the brief summary below of the role political influence played in the politically messy closure of the FTC-Google antitrust investigation in 2013.

The evidence of FTC special treatment for Google, coupled with an apparent FTC cover-up of the political influence that may have defanged the FTC’s investigative process, is particularly relevant to: the European Commission’s current antitrust investigation of Google’s abuses of its <90% dominance in Europe; reported U.S. Senate oversight interest in the FTC’s closure of the Google investigation; and Mississippi AG Jim Hood’s State-led antitrust and consumer protection investigation of Google.

FTC-Googlegate Scandal Repercussions in EU & U.S.

Previously unknown facts about the FTC staff’s 2011 Google search bias investigation have the makings of a potential scandal and cover-up with broad repercussions for Google with the European Commission, other countries, the FTC, State AGs and Congress.   

The WSJ gained inadvertent access to the FTC’s 2011 staff report about its investigation of Google’s search practices. FTC staff concluded: Google abused its monopoly power in search and search advertising; harmed Internet users and competitors; and manipulated its search results by favoring its own content over competitors’ content.

Google's Anti-Conservative Values -- CPAC 2015 Google Panel

I was asked to speak at CPAC 2015 on a February 28thpanel at National Harbor on Google entitled: “The United States of Google: Big Brother & Big Data” with Seton Motley of Less Government and Erik Telford of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.

My power point presentation, “Google’s Anti-Conservative Values,” for the first time contrasted the traditional conservative values of the American Conservative Union with Google’s values.

Below is an outline of my remarks:

Google Has Anti-Conservative Values

Google: We Will Track You -- a Satire

Below are my fun and satirical lyrics to: “We Will Track You,” which is a political parody/satire of Google’s essence -- sung to the classic tune:  We Will Rock You,” by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, Queen, which was written by Frank Holdgren.

  • Here is the Amazon link to Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” CD for purchase for those few that are unfamiliar with this classic tune and musical.   

 

We Will Track You

 

Nothin’s private you can’t survive it

So long to privacy cause we love our piracy

We put Glass on your face

Fact-checking Google Schmidt’s “Ich bin ein Big-fibber” Berlin Speech

 

History should remember Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s speech in Berlin, “The New Gründergeist,” as the “Ich bin ein Bigfibber” speech, because of his many big fibs about Google’s antitrust and data protection problems in Europe.   

Claim: “Really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon” (not Bing or Yahoo.)

Facts: Google crawls 60 trillion unique URLs to create its search index of the world-wide-web; Amazon does not crawl or search index the world-wide-web.

Top 10 Reasons Why Google is Causing EU More Problems than Microsoft Did

European Commission Vice President for Competition Joaquin Almunia recently warned the European Parliament that “Microsoft was investigated [for] 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken, and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft” per the FT article: “EU antitrust chief says Google case may be bigger than Microsoft.”

Why would the EC view Google as a bigger problem than Microsoft ever was?

Google’s Glass House -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please read my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Google’s Glass House.”

  • It shows how Google Glass brings attention to problems Google would rather conceal.  

It is Part 40 of my Google Disrespect for Privacy series.

 

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Google's Disrespect for Privacy Series

Part 1: Why Google is the Biggest Threat to Americans' Privacy; House Testimony [7-18-08]

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