Google offers to label Google search results to settle antitrust suit -- Don't miss the satirical version

FT just reported that Google has moved to settle antitrust charges with the EU "by offering to label information from its in-house services that are included in its search results pages..."

I am republishing below a satirical June 26th PrecursorBlog post which anticipated this exact offer of a Google labeling antirust remedy to settle antitrust charges.

  • The satirical recommendation memo from Google's lawyers to Google's CEO puts Google's munificent "labeling" offer of cooperation in perspective.


Google's Labeling Antitrust Remedy: "One Trick Away" -- A Satire

Attorney-Client Privileged Communication

Confidential Memorandum For: Larry Page, Google CEO

From: Google's Mensa Legal & PR Brain Trust

Subject: Recommendation to settle EU/FTC antitrust complaints with a labeling remedy

You tasked us to be more innovative in solving our antitrust problem. We have succeeded. We are now one trick away from absolving Google from all of its antitrust liability.

Our plan is to deploy Google responsibility-evasion algorithm #784923, code-named "Lipstick on a rhino," which our calculations indicate has an 91.265918735% chance of success, given expected temperatures in Brussels, the wing speed of a butterfly in Sumatra, news that Google plans to rank highest, and most importantly the data we have collected and analyzed on the antitrust decision-makers' proclivities and intentions via Google's knowledge of their: search history, website-visits, scanned-emails, wiretapped-routers, hard drive files, DNA sequences, and Google X's artificial intelligence intention-discernment-algorithms.

Many of Google's brightest engineers have read and wholeheartedly support our antitrust-liability-evasion design document, but per company practice none will ever admit to having read it. In addition, a scientific poll of Google's 16,337 PR spokespeople resulted in 102% of them voting yes that they could sell our proposed responsibility-evasion plan to the public.

Our plan of course has two parts, public perception and the secret reality.

Our public plan is to appear cooperative, respectful, and full of remorse. We will dramatically surprise everyone and accept responsibility for our mistake and say we are sorry, very sorry, deeply sorry, so sorry that our sorriness is sorry. Then with triumphant orchestra music playing in the background and the smell of fresh-baked cookies in the air, Google will then publicly commit to not rank Google content first and to never bury our competitors' results again. Finally, a Guinness world record child chorus will sing Google's promise to be the intergalactic leader in free expression by committing to clear and conspicuous labeling of Google search results forevermore.

Secretly our Google responsibility-evasion algorithm plan #784923 would work in this way.

With the EU and FTC authorities, Google would legally commit in writing to: 1) stop hard-coding Google products to be number one always in Google search results; 2) stop burying competitors' links where the sun don't shine; and 3) clearly and conspicuously labeling all Google search results for users. In return, Google will ask for only one thing: that those antitrust authorities contractually agree in perpetuity to fully respect Google's freedom of speech.

This is a win-win. Antitrust authorities get exactly what they ask for, and we get to keep our monopoly and our freedom of speech.

Once the deal is legally-binding on authorities, Google would clearly and conspicuously label our competitors' results (wherever the algorithm ranks them without bias), with titles written in the Klingon language and accompanied with blinking red labels like: "Warning Harmful Link;" "Toxic Content," Malware-Infected-Website;" "Virus Contagion;" or "Losers Click Here." Google would then clearly and conspicuously label Google content in the language of the user, in their favorite color and font, festooned with puppies and rainbows that say: "Best-Loved;" "Most-Trusted;" "Regulator-Approved;" and "Claim Your Reward Now."

Most importantly, we do antitrust authorities a great service by keeping them from infringing on Internet freedom of speech, censoring labels, or breaking the Internet.

Chairman Schmidt believes he can sell this to the authorities so you do not have to interact with the outside world. All we need is for you to wave your scepter and we will make it so.