You are here

Google's not abiding by its neutral principles

I continue to be amused at Google's "do as I say, not do as I do" way of doing business. As the online champion of regulating any "non-neutral" behavior by others, it is instructive to keep a close eye on the "non-neutral" things Google does in the market.

USA Today had a great article today, "Google offer takes on Paypal." Google is using its market leading dominance of the search market, 45% share and growing per Source Media Matrix, to leverage itself into other markets like online transactions, in very non-neutral ways. Some interesting quotes from the USA Today article:

  • "Google has the potential to own this market...Paypal is essentially laying down and letting Google buy market share."
  • "In a retail sense, Google is using Checkout as a loss leader to get market share works for Google, becuase they will make it up more with advertising, which is highly profitable."

So what is the point? Google routinely uses its market leverage (or is it market power?) in the online ad market it dominates "to buy share" or compete in a way that another company can't. This would be perfectly kosher, if, Google was not also the champion for making this type of typical Google market behavior illegal for broadband carriers, most of whom have dramatically less broadband share than Google has in its dominant market of search.

  • How does Google square that circle? Under what fair "principle" can like things be treated differently?
  • The answer is the "self-serving" principle; i.e what ever is good for Google regardless of what other principles it breaks.
  • Google should reread the FCC's net neutrality principles again which were released 9-23-05.
    • In the FCC’s Policy Statement on Net Neutrality adopted September 23, 2005, the FCC declared: “…the Commission has jurisdiction necessary to ensure that providers of telecommunications for Internet access or Internet Protocol-enabled (IP-enabled) services are operated in a neutral manner.â€? The FCC has effectively declared that Google is clearly under the FCC’s Title I regulatory authority.
      Policy principle number four of that FCC Policy Statement also states: “consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.�
  • What's good for the goose is good for the Google is what they say...