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Googleopoly's new self-granted entitlement: "Automatic Matching" is evidence of monopoly abuse

Kudos to Cade Metz of The Register for exposing Googleopoly's new self-granted entitlement to take their customers money without permission -- called "automatic matching" in Adwords.

  • The Register's piece: Screwgle TM -- Google's new ad revenue model" exposes that Google Adwords has secretly deployed a new default setting (that many will miss) that automatically spends all of the customer's AdWords "budget" -- even if the keywords the customer authorized Google to buy in the customer's budget -- are not available to buy.
    • In other words, if the keyword products a customer wants, are not available to buy, Google will automatically go shopping and spend all of a customer's monthly budget on keyword products the customer did not authorize Google to buy. 
  • The presumption here is "Google knows best," that Google does not need to seek explicit permission from customers before spending all of their money.
    • However, if a stock broker pulled a fast one like this and assumed de facto power of attorney over a customer's brokerage account and invested in whatever stocks the broker wanted -- without notified written consent of the customer -- the broker and the firm would be charged with misappropriation of funds.
      • Oops I forgot. This is Google. They have a motto of "Don't be evil." Nothing could be wrong here... laws don't apply here... It's the Internet...
      • Sounds more like Google's default system of internal controls is guided by the three monkeys: "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
      • Sounds like Google's "innovation without permission" culture has morphed into a "taking other's property without permission" culture.   

Bottom line: The broader point here is -- this secret practice of draining customer accounts without clear authorization -- how a company would operate if subjected to real competition/market forces where there was a real risk of losing a customer?

  • Or is this behavior more akin to evidence of monopoly abuse where the monopoly knows full well that its AdWord customers are locked in for all practical purposes and have no real competitive choice or alternative, but to accept whatever practices Google dictates?