You are here

Why the public interest groups are "Google's Poodles"

Nick Carr wrote a dead-on column in the Gaurdian: "The net is being carved up into information plantations."

His thesis is the irony that as the web adds more and more destinations on line, fewer people seem to be visiting them.

  • He cites statistics that in 2001, the top 10 websites accounted for 31% of page views and that in 2006 that same number grew to  40%.

What's my point? You know I always have a tie in.

This hyper-media concentration that is occurring on the web is much much greater than has occurred in traditional media.

People forget that the net neutrality ringleaders:, FreePress, and Save the Internet are the exact same folks that whine incessantly as "Chicken Littles" against big media consolidation of radio, TV, newspapers, and cable.  

  • Do these same people even have a clue that media online is consolidating and concentrating much more and much faster than it ever did in the offline world?
    • Do they even care?
    • Is their position principled? I don't think so.
  • These media concentration "Chicken Littles" are nowhere to be seen when it comes to being concerned about the Google "gatekeeper," which dominates 65% of the US search market, 75% of the UK/Europe search market and ~90% of the Germany search market. 

Why does Google get a complete free pass on the media concentration issue despite being the worst offender?

  • These self-described public interest groups are not principled on media concentration.
  • They are simply "Google's Poodles" -- for at least four powerful reasons:
    • Google, and Google employees, are the big money behind-the-scenes funding a wide swath of self-described "public interest" groups like, FreePress, Public Knowledge and others.
      • Public Knowledge admits to participating in Google's morning strategy sessions on net neutrality.  
    • Google is one of the biggest corporate supporters of the free culture, open source, or "copyleft" movement that does not believe in digital copyright or private ownership of software code.
    • Google is the darling of the liberal left.
      • Internet inventor/former VP Al Gore is a Google senior advisor and significant Google shareholder, and also a big ally.
        • Gore's Google stock gains appear to be funding much of Gore's global warming and "An Inconvenient Truth" crusade.
      • Google is very tight with Liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who hails from San Francisco next door to Googleplexville.
      • House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, goes out of his way to defend Google as the unfairly-besmirched net neutrality benefactor-in-chief.    

Clearly, there are a whole lot of powerful reasons why "Google's Poodles" will not bite the hand that feeds them.