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Diller's IAC unabashedly showcases their Net Neutrality competition double standard

Newsweek's article "Diller Weaves a Web" is a very clear example of the gross competition double standard that tech companies are pursuing in asking for a "non-discrimination" principle to only apply to competitive broadband companies but not to themselves.

  • (Barry Diller is CEO of IAC which is one of the six online giants funding the "ItsOurNet" coalition along with Google, Yahoo, ebay, Amazon and Microsoft.) 
  • Until now, I hadn't been lumping IAC in with the other online giants becuase their name is hardly a household brand although many of thier holdings are:, ticketmaster, etc.
  • Now that IAC is shamelessly trumpeting the great value of its "discrimination-based" Internet business model to pump its stock, I can't resist shining a well-deserved spotlight on IAC.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any trouble with IAC pursuing this business model. Â I am only needling IAC for its bald, self-serving hypocrisy of seeking to get the government to protect them from potentially "discriminatory" competition so they can freely "discriminate" against the little guy website that ItsOurNet claims to be supporting.

Let's look at an interesting quote from the Newsweek article:

  • "When searchers look for concert dates in the search engine, reviews from Citysearch and ticket-buying opportunities from Ticketmaster pop up at the top of the results; concert venues also appear pinpointed next to the results on an map. Try to find a plumber in your city, and reviews and booking opportunities for local plumbers appear courtesy of another IAC company, The integration works in more esoteric ways, as well. Query a campground on Ask, and the results let you make a campground reservation via (who knew Diller owned that?). IAC execs deny they're building an AOL-style "closed garden" where users will only have access to IAC content."

The $20 billion integration of the IAC Internet portfolio around is all about "discriminating" in favor of IAC's websites and content over the little guys. In net neutrality land isn't that discrimination that hurts the little guy. Isn't this the two tier Internet that they say they abhor?One tier of preferred rankings for those who own one of the largest search engines and the second tier for all those poor little guys who don't have billions of dollars to buy their own search engine?

  • Are ItsOurNet's allies and friends at SavetheInternet choosing to look the other way on their cherished net neutrality "principle." Could it be that :
    • "The ends justify the means?"
    • "The enemy of my enemy is my friend?"
  • Why is discrimination by one set of competitors OK but not for a very similar set of competitors? 
    • What philosophical gymnastics are necessary to justify that unfairness and double standard? Â 

Let me be crystal clear. I do not have a problem with IAC's business practice. It is normal competitive business practice that can provide great benefits for consumers.  

  • I do have a big problem though, if they want to tilt the playing field unfairly to ban their potential competitiors from conducting business the way they are free to do so.
  • Trying to take away the freedoms of a competitor through the political process makes IAC and all the other hypocritical and self-serving online giants fair game in my book.

Those in glass houses should not throw stones.  Â 




They often trot out the sanctimonious nonsense that they are not concerned about themselves but