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Will Google Become SoftBank-Sprint's Silent Partner?

Like most analysts, I am not persuaded by the stated rationale and synergies SoftBank has put forth to justify its acquisition of Sprint. At bottom the deal is financial engineering: balance sheet and exchange rate arbitrage; and market timing. It appears to be a financial partnership, not the stated strategic partnership.

SoftBank hopes its shareholders will imagine that the 2013 and beyond U.S. experience of a maturing wireless smart-phone market and Sprint's late-iPhone-entrant role will somehow be analogous to SoftBank's iPhone first-mover experience in 2008 Japan. That's like asserting rock-climbing uphill is analogous with sliding downhill because they both involve hills.

U.S. Government's Obsolete & Dysfunctional Spectrum Management -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my new Daily Caller Op-ed: "The U.S. Government's Obsolete and Dysfunctional Spectrum Management" -- here.

  • This is part 13 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Internet Astroturf 3.0 -- Internet as Oz Series Part 3

Pro-piracy interests have been organizing globally to head off and defeat future anti-piracy legislation (like SOPA/PIPA), IP treaties (ACTA) and property rights enforcement, all while claiming to represent "the Internet" and all its users, when they do not. They collectively represent pro-piracy special interests.

They hijack popular political buzz-words like "Internet Freedom" and "innovation," to distract people from their fringe anti-property views and to simulate broad mainstream political support.

("Astroturf" in a public policy context connotes artificial grassroots, simply proclaiming to be something one is not in order to gain broader political support.)

This analysis spotlights the political interests and strategy of global pro-piracy interests. It also answers several key questions:

  • What unites pro-piracy special interests?
  • Who are the top ten Internet astroturf 3.0 players?
  • If this is Internet astroturf 3.0, what was 1.0 and 2.0?
  • What's the main difference with Internet astroturf 3.0?
  • What are the main political techniques of Internet astroturf 3.0?
  • What are Internet astroturf 3.0's three grand deceptions?

U.S. Falling behind the World in Auctioning Broadband Spectrum -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

See my latest Daily Caller Op-ed: "U.S. Falling behind the World in Auctioning Broadband Spectrum" here.

This is part 12 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Top False Claims of the New Internet Association -- Part 2 of Internet as Oz Series

Unfortunately, the new Internet Association launched yesterday making several false claims.

Claim: "The Internet Association, the nation's first trade association representing the interests of the Internet economy, America's leading Internet companies and their vast community of users…"

Truth: This "first" claim is unsupportable; several different Internet groups have had similar purposes long before this Internet Association: The Internet Society; The Internet Engineering Task Force; Net Coalition; SaveTheInternet.com; The Open Internet Coalition; The Internet Defense League; The Internet Freedom Coalition; The Internet Alliance; The Internet Marketing Association; The Internet Commerce Association and The Internet Infrastructure Coalition.

FCC Creates "Abundant" Uncertainty -- Part 12: Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

Unfortunately, the FCC Chairman's remarks to a Silicon Valley audience last week -- trumpeting his new concern for "anything that depresses broadband usage" -- are creating abundant uncertainty for broadband businesses and investors.

Specifically, Gigaom reported: "When asked about the impact of data caps on broadband innovation by my colleague Janko Roettgers and how his thinking had evolved on the topic, the chairman said he was concerned about data caps. He added, “Anything that depresses broadband usage is something that we need to be really concerned about.” And he further said, “We should all be concerned with anything that is incompatible with the psychology of abundance.”

This appears to signal a stupefying 180-degree reversal of the FCC Chairman's well-established policy position on broadband usage pricing.

The New Internet Association's Back Story

Google, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook reportedly are launching a new Internet Association in mid-September to be "the unified voice of the Internet economy, representing the interests of America's leading Internet companies and their global community of users. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet."

What is the back story here? Why is it being formed? Why now? What unites these companies? What is the Internet Association's public policy agenda? What does its formation mean?

Why is the Internet Association being formed?

The main public policy catalyst was bipartisan anti-piracy legislation that was moving swiftly through Congress last year that Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook all strenuously opposed and helped defeat with an unprecedented Internet blackout day in January.

U.S. Government's Obsolete and Wasteful Spectrum Hoarding and Rationing -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don't miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "U.S. Government's Obsolete and Wasteful Spectrum Hoarding and Rationing" here.

This is part 11 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

The FCC's 1887 Railroad Regulation Mindset -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "The FCC's 1887 Railroad Regulation Mindset" here. This piece is part 10 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

FCC Showcases Its Growing Obsolescence -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "The FCC Showcases its Growing Obsolescence" here. This piece is part 9 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

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Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

Part 2: "The FCC's Public Interest Test Problem"

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths