You are here
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2017-04-07 16:14
Most of what we have learned in the five months since the election indicates that the Trump Administration is not going to be Google’s antitrust advocate and protector like the Obama Administration effectively was from 2013-2016, in de facto shutting down any real U.S. antitrust scrutiny of Google, and in turn implicitly discouraging antitrust enforcement of Google in the EU and around the world.
This antitrust enforcement sea change has three big picture implications: for the EU, for the U.S., and for markets.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2017-01-26 17:45
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans formally asked FCC Chairman Agit Pai to close the docket on the set-top box proceeding because it is no longer under active consideration, and because it “remains an unnecessary regulatory threat to the content creation and distribution industries” and casts a “shadow over investment and innovation.”
This is a wise, pro-competitive, pro-property rights, and good government request from Congress to the new Pai FCC.
The FCC should efficiently utilize this decision opportunity to employ the statutory sunset provision in the law to permanently sunset and remove this unnecessary and serious regulatory threat to competition, copyrighted contractual content and its creation, investment, and innovation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2016-12-05 16:15
Apparently America does not have “equal justice under law” when it comes to media concentration limits.
Seldom can one find a starker commercial example of unequal legal, law enforcement, and regulatory treatment of very similar commercial activities than that between old media and Internet/new media companies concerning media concentration and antitrust enforcement.
Both legacy old media companies and Internet/new media companies are in the communications business, own and/or produce media of some type, and distribute media in different physical ways, consumption formats, and time/situation dimensions.
Please see this one-page graphic that illustrates how America’s media concentration double standard treats similar old and new media companies completely dissimilarly, and how it results in a predictable stark market share dichotomy.
Ultimately old media concentration has been limited by the traditional antitrust limits that apply to all industries and companies over the years.
That’s no longer true for Big-Internet companies like Google and Facebook.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2016-11-28 16:11
Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “How U.S. Internet Commons Policies Lessen Growth Jobs & Security.”
It spotlights how U.S. Internet commons policies – where “free” means a price of zero and “open” means no property -- create winner-take all economic outcomes for the Netstablishment at the expense of everyone else.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2016-11-09 14:49
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 9, 2016, Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407
Election Provides Opportunity to Modernize Communications and Privacy Laws; And to Ensure a Pro-competition FCC that Fully Respects the Rule of Law, Facts, Due Process, Property Rights and Contracts
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2016-10-31 11:33
Don’t miss Google’s enduring big wireless ISP ambitions in the midst of all the noise and confusion about the future of Google Fiber.
And also don’t miss Google’s grand ambitions to organize and dominate America’s spectrum-related information via its certification as a key FCC Spectrum Access System Administrator, given how little public attention it has gotten to date.
Google continues to pivot its Internet access ambitions away from deploying capital-expensive fiber technology deployment to deploying much-less-capital-expensive unlicensed wireless access technology, which does not require digging and burying fiber, and which may only use free unlicensed spectrum.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2016-08-03 22:38
The evidence shows that Google & Facebook -- by far the world’s most dominant Internet gatekeepers – are not an Internet advertising “duopoly,” but worse, two separate Internet advertising monopoly platforms, one in search advertising and another in social media advertising.
That’s because search and social media advertising are not competitive substitutes for each other, but are proving to be synergistic advertising complements to each other in company marketing campaigns, because generally search advertising excels at lead generation and local business visibility while social media advertising generally excels at building brand awareness and interactivity with consumers.
Tellingly, after beginning to directly compete in social in 2011 and in search in 2013, Google and Facebook both abruptly, coincidentally, and effectively stopped competing directly with each other in both the search and social media markets in 2014.
Apparently, they either jointly agreed in 2014 to divide up the marketplace and no longer directly compete with each other to maximize their exceptional mobile growth and profitability; or they concluded independently -- from their initial directly competitive forays into the other’s core markets -- that the other commanded unbeatable monopoly network effects, so not directly competing with each other would maximize their exceptional mobile growth and profitability.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2016-07-12 12:43
Of the three EU antitrust cases against Google (search bias in shopping, Android tying, and soon search-advertising-tying), the expected new search-advertising case -- which focuses on how Google has long contractually required websites to use Google’s search advertising if they use Google search -- could be the hardest EU-Google antitrust case for the FTC to ignore, for the reasons below.
Summary of Why It’s Hard for FTC to Ignore the EU Search-Advertising Antitrust Case:
1. The FTC has been following the EU’s antitrust lead.
2. The FTC’s Google 2012 staff report agrees with the EU’s conclusion on search advertising.
3. The DOJ threatened a 2008 monopolization case over Google’s search advertising syndication.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2016-06-15 17:47
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 majority decision to completely uphold the FCC Open Internet Order on every single one of the ~couple dozen argued points, after the court had twice before not granted the FCC complete deference in overturning the FCC on these matters, surprised most everyone given the number and seriousness of the legal challenges put forth, and the selective skepticism the judges signaled at oral arguments.
Given that this total support of the FCC was not anticipated, what does this potentially seminal court precedent mean practically?
For now, the FCC effectively enjoys complete deference from this Court on Open Internet issues.
The majority dismissed every single one of the petitioners’ best legal, process, and constitutional challenges and proactively cauterized them with court assertions that the FCC’s actions were reasonable, supported by the evidence, and compliant with the APA, or that the challenges were unpersuasive.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2016-06-14 14:47
June 14, 2016, Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407
Judge Williams Dissent in USTelecom v. FCC Lays Bare the Competition Problems With Both the Appeals Court Decision and the FCC’s Open Internet Order
WASHINGTON D.C. – The following may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition:
“There are big competition policy problems with the DC Court of Appeals 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s 3-2 Open Internet Order that appear destined for the Supreme Court and Congress to ultimately resolve.”
“The court’s decision appears to effectively grant an FCC majority of three unelected commissioners with largely unfettered power to arbitrarily pick winners and losers in the competitive communications and Internet marketplaces without much administrative due process, explanation, justification, evidence or reasoned analysis.”