Progress and Freedom Foundation President Adam Thierer is one of the very best free market minds on all things Internet.

Please take the time to review Adam’s outstanding five-part case against net neutrality regulation that he pulled together for his debate with FreePress’ Ben Scott at Catholic University’s recent annual FCC confab in DC.

I always learn something from talking to Adam, or from reading his work, which is my highest compliment.

  • You will learn something too from Adam’s thoughtful and cogent case.

 

Don’t miss Digital Society’s Bret Swanson’s outstanding op-ed in the Huffington Post that spotlights the huge disconnect between the White House’s top priority of creating jobs, and the FCC’s Open Internet regulation plans that are obviously big net job killers.

Common sense dictates that heavily regulating a healthy and economic broadband sector with unnecessary and intrusive restrictions and red tape will destroy profits, investment and tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.

 

Foundem, a UK vertical search competitor to Google, documents serial anticompetitive discrimination on Google’s search network, in a data-driven filing to the FCC in the FCC’s Open Internet regulation proceeding.

  • It is logical that the data-driven analysis in Foundem’s public FCC filing is an integral part of Foundem’s antitrust case against Google, which Foundem recently submitted to the EU, but which has not been released yet.
  • Therefore, Foundem’s FCC filing may be the best publicly available window into what the EU investigation of Google’s anticompetitive practices entails.

In essence, the Foundem filing accuses Google of monopolistic self-dealing and bundling.

  • Foundem co-founder Shivaun Raff told the UK Register: “They’re turning an ostensibly neutral search engine into an incredibly powerful marketing channel for their own services.”
  • In other words, the filing shows that Google’s search network, non-neutrally and anticompetitively produces search results that allow Google to leverage its dominance in search advertising to self deal:
    • i.e. reward qualitatively inferior Google products and services with Google’s highest search ranking,
    • While punishing qualitatively superior products and services of Google’s competitors with relatively lower search rankings than Google’s.
  • The filing’s data from ComScore shows how Google anticompetitively discriminates against MapQwest in favor of Google Maps and how Google’s Product Search anticompetively discriminates against Foundem, Shopping.com, Shopzilla.com, Nextag.com among many others.
  • This is all in the context of Google representing to the public in its corporate business web page “Ten Things” about Google:
    • We never manipulate rankings to put our partners higher in our search results and no one can buy better PageRank. Our users trust our objectivity and no short-term gain could ever justify breaching that trust.”
    • Well the Foundem filing shows persuasively that Google in fact does routinely rank Google-owned products and services above its competitors offerings regardless of merit.
    • That on its face is manipulating search results.

The big deal here is the data-driven analysis that the FCC and antitrust authorities focus on.

  • The filing presents eleven charts representing eleven different data series that clearly show how Google’s Universal Search is not neutral in that it “blends” the top ranking of Google-owned products and services with ostensibly organic (supposedly neutral) algorithmic search results.
  • The correlations in the data series are compelling and replicable by the EU and the U.S. DOJ, because they come from a third party data set — ComScore’s.
  • The data also prove that Google’s representations that its search network is neutral and never manipulated are patently false and misleading to the public in order to engender user trust of Google that is not warranted on the facts.

In sum, there is now new data-driven evidence in the public domain that shows Google is anticompetitively abusing its dominant market position and is deceptively misrepresenting that its search results are neutral, when the facts from respected third-parties show they are not.

Moreover, with news reports indicating that there is a French company (ejustice.FR) also filing an antitrust case against Google, in addition to this new Foundem case, it is becoming incontrovertible that Google’s antitrust liabilities are growing and proliferating.

For more research and information on Google’s antitrust liabilities see the links below or go to my Precursor LLC sister sites: www.GoogleMonitor.com or www.Googleopoly.net.

***

 

A. Google’s proliferating antitrust liabilities series:

  • Part II:”Another antitrust lawsuit against Google — myTrigger”
  • Part I: Google faces three antitrust cases in Germany

B. Googleopoly Series:

 

  • Why Google is a monopoly: “Presenting the case before the Federalist Society”
  • Googleopoly V: “Why the FTC should block Google-AdMob”
  • Googleopoly IV: “How Google extends its search monopoly to monopsony over digital information”
  • Googleopoly III: “Dependency: The crux of the Google-Yahoo ad agreement problem”
  • Googleopoly II: “Google’s Predatory Playbook to Thwart Competition”
  • Googleopoly I: “The Google-DoubleClick anticompetitive case”

 

 

C. Google’s antitrust Pinocchio series:

  • Part I: What is “One click away?
  • Part II: Google: Antitrust’s Pinocchio?
  • Part III: “Google-AdMob: ‘Its too new to dominate'”

 

Kudos to Mike Swift of the Mercury News for his important article about how Google “says the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released.”

  • Google and four other Silicon Valley companies opposed the paper’s FOIA request for summary equal employment opportunity data, while most other companies like Cisco, Intel, and eBay complied.

This raises some relevant questions for Google.

  1. Why does Google oppose discrimination on the Internet, but apparently does not oppose discrimination in its workplace?
  2. Why does Google support more public access to government information for its search engine, but oppose’s public access to government information on the race and gender makeup of Google’s workforce?
  3. Why does Google support FCC-mandated transparency for ISP network management practices, but opposes voluntary transparency for Google’s human resource management practices?
  4. Does Google’s vaunted hiring process provide equal employment opportunity to African Americans and Hispanic Americans?
  5. How does keeping Google’s EEO record secret square with Google’s vaunted committment to openness described in the recent Google post: “The Meaning of Open.”
  6. Does Google support open hiring systems?
  7. Why is Google open to discussing its workforce systems with Fortune for its feature “Best Companies to work for” but is closed to discussing its workforce systems relating to Google being an equal opportunity employer?
  8. Is employment discrimination somehow part of Google’s secret business strategy given that it cannot be disclosed for competitive reasons?

In sum, this latest Google episode, which highlights Google’s double standards, is also a quintessential example of why Google needs to be more transparent and accountable and why I created and publish www.GoogleMonitor.com to help accomplish that task.

 

 

In one of the best, most strongly-worded and serious letters to the FCC that I have read in my 18 years following FCC issues closely, the united broadband industry’s letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski is simply a must-read; it explains why the FCC’s serious interest in reclassifying unregulated broadband information services as regulated telecom services is among the worst and most destructive ideas the FCC has ever seriously considered.

The letter characterized Title II reclassification as:

  • “a radical new direction,”
  • “regulating the Internet,”
  • “a profound mistake,”
  • “betraying decades of bipartisan support for keeping the Internet unregulated,”
  • “misguided regulatory overreach,” and a
  • “Pandora’s Box.”

A particularly strong summary statement was:

  • It is difficult to imagine a proposal more at odds with the Commission’s historical committment to keeping the Internet unregulated, to our national prospects for economic recovery, and to your own committment to “common sense” solutions and to “private enterprise, the indispensible engine of economic growth.”

The letter also copiously documents why the FCC has no basis, evidentiary record or authority to reclassify broadband as Title II common carriers and explains how such a reclassification would endanger the entire Internet ecosystem with harm and uncertainty where “no issue would ever be settled.”

In a nutshell, the letter strongly communicates that rather than a wise “do no harm” policy in a fragile economy dependent on the broadband sector for stability and growth, the FCC is nonsensically considering a policy which would do the exact opposite — do the most harm to the most people in the most places in the most ways.