>When the Federal Trade Commission neared a momentous decision on whether to charge Google with violating antitrust laws in January 2013, the White House was watching closely.
New emails uncovered by the Campaign for Accountability, a public interest watchdog organization, show that a White House advisor met with top Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton and top Google antitrust counsel Matthew Bye twice in the weeks before the FTC announcement.
And minutes prior to the final decision – in which FTC commissioners took the unusual step of overriding their staff’s recommendation to sue, and voted to settle the case instead – the White House official even sought Google’s talking points in the matter.
That's because (at least in the number of times i've been invited to meetings with these sorts of regulators) the relevant folks are not idiots, and in fact are trying to understand all sides of the issue before deciding what they should do.
This is actually what you want them to do, as there are rarely, if ever, truly disinterested parties in these sorts of things.
As an aside, i'm pretty sure Matthew was not the top antitrust counsel at Google at the time. I believe it was Nikhil Shanbhag. Job titles on linkedin seem to confirm my recollection.
>The Campaign for Accountability (CFA) this week launched the first two of its Google Transparency Projects. One of the projects – a visualisation of the revolving door between Google, the White House and US government agencies – is so dense, the website suggests viewing it on a desktop display.
As well as Googlers leaving the ad giant to join the administration, there’s also a heavy traffic in the other direction, with federal employees leaving to join Google. The project documents 61 staff taking key public positions after leaving Google, or firms working closely with Google, and 171 leaving public office to join [Google].
Anti-trust is about companies using their market power to exclude rivals, raise prices, and hurt consumers. It's not about consumers overwhelmingly choosing a product because they like it more.
Can anyone really say that Google's practices are more anti-competitive than, say, the dominant players in broadband or health insurance or wireless telecom or household appliances?
From a health-of-the-system perspective it really should be intolerable that a few large closed-garden platforms control the flow of information. Information monocultures are a threat to everyone, even if one partisan group feels more threatened than the other at any one time.
I happily take the market-efficiency position on most debates, but the risk of Google being anything but neutral is worrying. They appear to have a political bias in their employee base and are under pressure to make judgements about fact v. fiction (might even be an inherent requirement of choosing a sort order for search results) - that is a position somewhat similar to a conventional media organisation.
I support the concept of media being a special case where the risk of an information monoculture outweighs the damage of being inefficient. Laws that basically make it impossible for one media source to control a market are fine. I'd like to see internet search designated as a market where there legally can't be one dominant player, and details get sorted out as best can be done.
Maybe that is already how the market is, I don't know. There are many alternatives not controlled by Google. But something even stronger than antitrust seems appropriate as a matter of law, even if we don't apply it today. I can't see how a platform like Google can be neutral given the ongoing partisan extremes that have developed in American politics and Google's connections to the Democrats.
Apps and games are media. In 2019, that's a glaring truth which is obvious to many in the industry. It's just that society and the culture haven't caught up with technological reality yet.
Antitrust doesn’t care about how you got market dominance. It cares about what you do with it. To use the browser example I used elsewhere: maybe Google’s dominance in search is because it’s indisputably the best. But that doesn’t mean Google can use its dominance over search to get you to use Chrome.
To address your other examples, say health insurance or cellular, that market dominance is absent. Google has 89% of search market share. Verizon has 35% of cellular. Likewise, no health insurance company has more than 15% market share. That’s a completely different market. And I can’t get a discount on cellular because I’m a FiOS customer, nor can I buy car insurance from my health insurance company.
As I said elsewhere, I don’t think an antitrust case against a Google would succeed at this point in time. But lots of things that are common in the web tech space (cross selling products, giving away products for free, etc.), become potential antitrust concerns when you’ve got 90% market share in an industry. For example, giving away Android for free to push Symbian and company out of the market and cement Google search dominance in mobile. You wouldn’t be crazy to try to make a case out of that.
> nor can I buy car insurance from my health insurance company.
and bundling deals: https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/multiline
By "product", I take it you mean their advertising services? Most of the other products are not paid for. In fact, critics are often fond of pointing out that the consumer is the product in this case.
Whether this action is right or not, parallels can be drawn with the Microsoft investigation: Microsoft allegedly used its position within the desktop to "push" their browser; Google is allegedly using its position within search to "push" their browser.
On a personal note, I'm not convinced that this is grounds enough for antitrust action. There could be a personal data related angle to this, but then again that would not come under antitrust.
Windows didn't get to 90% market share because consumers chose it. Windows achieved overwhelming dominance because Microsoft punished computer manufacturers if they sold any competing operating system.
That's anti-competitive, and Google isn't doing anything like that.
Then Microsoft used their illegally-obtained dominant position in operating systems to bundle their shitty browser, essentially forcing every consumer to install it instead of any competitor. And you couldn't uninstall it if you wanted to.
Again, that's not at all similar to Google and Chrome. Windows, Mac, and iOS don't have Chrome pre-installed. Android manufacturers are free to pre-install Firefox or Opera or anything else they want.
Google was doing exactly this until it was forced to into a consent decree with the EU. Manufacturers couldn’t sell Google licensed Android phones and sell non Google Android variants.
Just this week it was announced that Google will disable important features required to implement ad blockers. Google absolutely abuses their monopolies (browser, search, streaming video, possibly maps) at least as aggressively as MS ever did.
Have you ever tried to watch YouTube on Firefox? That’s a deliberately hobbled experience if I’ve ever seen one.
Completely off topic at this point but I’m curious what video card you have and if you’re on X or Wayland.
My Linux box at work is an HP laptop from several years ago with a pretty basic business class AMD graphics card in it, I did have to install AMD’s binary drivers on this machine.
And, using Slackware, it’s X. Not sure if Wayland is easily installable or not on Slack but it’s certainly not part of the base install or supported by Patrick.
Firefox is the only piece of my install that isn’t part of official Slackware-CURRENT.
Other than running it in Windows all of my other computers that use Firefox are running stock, no fancy desktop versions of Slack or OpenBSD. I use calm window manager on both. (Sorry, this contradicts an earlier statement, I also had to compile and install Calm on Slackware from source, everything else is just part of the supported packages for CURRENT)
Maybe my low resource OS’s help?
Whether it’s the government’s role to break that up is a political question, but Google is most definitely a classic monopoly and the internet is worse off for it.
It was the political appointees (from both parties) who shut their recommendation that the FTC begin an antitrust action down.
So what was this "settlement"? Google promised to be nicer and said mea culpa a bunch of times. They did not pay a fine, did not agree to any hard regulations that would carry a penalty if violated, they did not pay any compensation to the entities they kinda admitted they wronged.
With Microsoft there were clear injured parties: Netscape, Samba, WordPerfect, and those results created a chilling effect around Windows.
Google search prefers sites that are fast. Amp makes sites fast.
Non-Amp sites that are equally fast and relevant get equal search ranking.
Is there any evidence whatsoever that Google ranks Amp sites higher because of Amp, instead of speed and relevance?
Nope. Amp ranks above everything else in a page-topping spinner.
>Which raises deep suspicions about the political motivations of this "investigation".
So, if a company was in bed with politician X, and get investigated under a future (opposition) politician Y, it's the ...political motivations of the investigation that you're concerned about?
That sounds totally backwards...
>Anti-trust is about companies using their market power to exclude rivals, raise prices, and hurt consumers. It's not about consumers overwhelmingly choosing a product because they like it more.
Well, Google uses its power over search results to do all of the above.
And that's not what the charges are about either. You're making it way too simplistic. Google has been involved in actual anti-competitive actions, for which they've already been found guilty in Europe that had nothing to do with "users liking their service more" - Google actually downranked competition in the search engine, and other stuff like that.
There even was a story a while ago on HN about ProtonMail being essentially shadowbanned from Google search for the term "encrypted email" for a year before they made a big scandal about it and Google "admitted its error" (the same bullshit excuse Facebook uses every time it's caught tracking users in a new and more nefarious way).
Also, I can't be bothered to look for a link now, but there is a good story out there about how Google killed a map competitor in the US around that time, too (Skyhook was it?). Once again - nothing to do with "users liking Google's maps more" -- Google took real action to prevent a competitor from existing in the market place.
It's also a super-duper coincidence that Eric Schmidt started working for the Pentagon, while also remaining on Google's board and some kind of technical executive, too, not long before Google started working with the Pentagon on Project Maven.
Either people don't want to admit what's happening or they are being way too naive when they see all of this and think it's "nothing but a coincidence". It was well known that Schmidt was one of Obama's besties at the time. And Google is ranking very high in its lobbying efforts, too.
I may not like it, but it's not an anti-trust concern.
> Google started working with the Pentagon on Project Maven
Google shut this down under pressure from employees. Also, not an anti-trust concern.
> Schmidt was one of Obama's besties
Executives at right-wing media are besties with the current president, but that shouldn't result in a future administration launching anti-trust actions against their firms.
> encrypted mail, Skyhook, etc.
Sounds pretty tenuous, but if there's something here roughly equivalent severity to other anti-trust issues then sure, investigate that.
But it looks to me like a piddling pretext to punish perceived political differences in media and infotech.
Selective enforcement is arbitrary, politically motivated enforcement.
No, but I'd love to see antitrust litigation against those monopolies/oligopolies too.
I guess, "not exactly exonerating, but not exactly damning" is à la mode in 2019.
Google's close ties with the Obama administration makes the Trump administration suspicious!
So, there is no swing in policy, at least among the career officials.
The Obama administration shut down and buried the previous FTC investigation. I'd guess not just because of lobbying, but also because google was nice enough to allow a ton of google employees to take some "vacations" to work for the Obama campaign for a bunch of months, and the likes of Eric Schmidt being chummy with Obama.
The current investigation is probably motivated not just by those career bureaucrats who had their previous investigation shut down, but also by the Trump administration wanting to hurt SV and Google in particular for being too friendly with Democrats, and to put those social media companies (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter) on notice not to "prosecute" and ban conservatives on their platforms (at leas that's what Trump and a lot of "conservatives" say is happening).
The DoJ and other state legal offices have rules about excusing prosecutors from cases but this one seems to not be seen as an issue at these regulatory and broader judicial agencies.
This should matter considering the US is disparaging China for having private companies backed by the powerful government bodies, operating under a different set of rules than everyone else.
This dataset includes people like my intern, who left to go join USDS after his internship was up, etc
So there is some amount of flat out silliness here.
It also covers 14 years (2002->2016), and has a fairly small number of people for that number of years.
A significant number are DC people, and, surprisingly, if you want to stay in DC, you are going to work at the government most likely.
During the earlier parts of this timeframe, there was no one other than Google who was local (google opened the office in 2006).
During the middle part, 2006-2013, other tech companies were just staffing up policy orgs.
Over the entire time period, the government is by far the biggest employer in the region.
There were not a lot of even tech companies (let alone local policy orgs for tech companies) in most of that time period, the biggest other one would have been weird things like "livingsocial".
Having been recruiting in DC during the 2006-2012 timeframe , out of the 1000+ resumes i'd reviewed, i'd say 80+% were working at the government.
Like, why is this a conspiracy instead of normal attrition?
In particular: where was it you expected them to go that was more acceptable?
I think you are seriously overestimating the amount of non-governmental jobs they would have been able go to if they wanted to stay local.
It's a little more true now, but even then you'd just see them bounce between tech company policy departments.
Over the same time period, i'm 100% sure as many policy/legal/etc people in MTV/etc went to go work at Facebook, startups, etc (IE whatever the local industry was).
I'm also sure you'd find the same relative number of facebookers/etc in DC (which again, was very small during that time period) left for the administration, etc.
Talking to the police before you get arrested is just plain stupid. Let the lawyer do the talking. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRNc3Qic-Ks
He is also a laywer, see his profile: https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=rayiner
Rayiner may be factually correct, but his comment normalized the great injustice of the situation.
Kid gets caught with a little pot at a parade, and the cops slam his ass to the ground and book him.
Google screws millions and millions daily, and they get a letter.
Lawyers are experts in law... not so much with justice.
Ajit Pai just did this move with robocalls and SHAKEN/STIR:
> Ajit Pai orders phone companies to adopt new anti-robocall tech in 2019
Pai threatens "regulatory" action if carriers don't use Caller ID authentication. (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/02/ajit-pai-orders-...)
This is the advisor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._David_Edelman
See also https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/author/r-david-ede...
It's not like he was Secretary of State but he also wasn't just an intern.
Do you have anything substantive to add to the conversation?
Do you want to disagree with anything I said?
In practice, my comment comes more from being in DC for 7 years, not for working for any company.
What i said applies across just about every media outlet these days.
Every unnamed white house advisor (sometimes even "senior advisor", because why not!) who isn't an "anonymous source" is usually unnamed because otherwise you'd be able to point out their job title matches what they were doing and is unrelated to the white house
(or their attachment to the white house is "tenuous at best").
It's true the white house sometimes has people with the job title "advisor" in it, but you will notice when articles mention real names, if you were to go looking, you'd see that was usually their real title (or they failed at fact checking).
That's not just the white house either. Random low level people at companies become "senior executives", etc.
This even spreads, unfortunately, using those things as sources, and later often becomes "truth".
Here, i'll take a totally non-political thing as an example for you:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Fredinburg (RIP) was a great person and all around good guy (IME), but he was 100% not a google executive. This is an objective fact, by any definition of executive (including Google's). You can see the sources cited for these claims are news articles.
All of which, in order to play up their narrative on a tragedy, decided to give him that title (and various others!)
Thinking that anything else here is happening, in this, or really any other situation, is just naive (or gross application of variants of gell-mann amnesia).
In the situation in the original article, do you seriously believe that if the current administration had the chance to nail a real former obama whitehouse advisor doing something illegal or untoward, they wouldn't jump at the chance do it?
It's not like they don't have white house visitor logs and plenty of people around the DOJ/FTC/etc who can tell them what happened!
 As an aside, i find it pretty sad that it appears people find "google executive" to be a more impressive/etc way to memorialize someone than "good person". If i pass away in a news-worthy event, can y'all make sure it says "good father" or something.
Though to be fair, in 2012 Google exerted its monopolistic power far less than it does now.
For the life of me I can't understand why it's good that less than a dozen unelected and non-removable people in this country (Schmidt/Page, Zuck, and the owners of 99% of "independent" media) have the power to decide who wins elections, and what people think about issues.
Regardless, the FTC would have had a much better chance than the DOJ as they have specific broad powers more suitable to this case.
Suffice to say, they have a lot less allies in DC this year, and even Democrats are starting to look negatively on them now.
The idea that he utilized Google resources to do the same for Obama while he had more direct influence over Google isn't a crazy idea.
Google has been providing free services to campaigns it wants to help for over a decade, in the open. This started when Schmidt was CEO.
The Obama campaign was the first to really realize the importance of IT infrastructure, _and_ their whole shtick (more or less neoliberalism with a friendly face) aligns really well with Google's political goals.
I'm not really sure why you seem to think that this is some conspiracy theory, when everyone involved is openly talking about it.
The two most popular are https://opensource.google.com/docs/releasing/ (which is for open source code, with (C) Google, because with open source you mostly don't have to care much about that line) and https://opensource.google.com/docs/iarc/ (author retains copyright, no open source requirement or association with Google at all).
IARC should be quite suitable for projects on "contentious" topics like politics or religion: Google generally stays clear of these topics (so there won't be a conflict of interest in building something like that, as Google just isn't active in that market), and the company won't have to deal with being associated with one team (versus all the others) through some side hustle they can barely control.
(Disclosure: working at Google, but far from the licensing folks. I found them reasonable to argue with, though.)
It's interesting people here are calling this a "conspiracy theory" when I guarantee you there are hundreds if not thousands of posters here who remember the TGIF and groups discussions where this came up.
>And Google is incorporated in California, which has strict laws that employees are allowed to develop what they like when they're not on the clock using company resources.
Not really. Try to develop a search engine in your spare time and see what happens.
>The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday faced renewed questions about its handling of its antitrust investigation into Google, after documents revealed that an internal report had recommended stronger action.
The 2012 report, from the agency’s bureau of competition, said that the agency should sue the Internet search company for anticompetitive practices, according to several people who saw the report but would speak about it only under the condition of anonymity. At least one other staff report, they said, recommended not to pursue a lawsuit. In early 2013, the agency unanimously voted not to bring charges after an investigation.
Google has already lost several antitrust actions in the EU. It's not difficult to imagine that the investigation by FTC career officials found sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to recommend taking action.
Now I fear Firefox has a similar sisyphean task at hand, trying to keep their browser usable on google services. And for many of the users, that is same as usability of the browser as a whole.
Also recall that mobile carriers and OEMs were opposed to Android because it would further degrade their ability to create walled gardens. The carriers lost control of apps, not for lack of trying. Imagine what a world that would be.
The FANG succeed largely instead of a carrier-controlled mobile ecosystem.
You may think that replaces one kind of oppression with another, but if you weaken the internet platforms, you strengthen the carriers who are now off the net neutrality leash, and who see 5G as an opportunity to gain control of a lot of what we now enjoy as an open internet.
I agree with the other claims (about Microsoft killing Windows Phone through their own actions and choices), however this one is a bit weird. Apple gave essentially no ground to carriers, which was a huge change. Which is why carriers all embraced Android, at a time when it was horribly uncompetitive, because it returned control to them, letting them preload any nonsense they wanted, making it undeletable, etc.
Apple updates come through Apple alone. If you have a Samsung phone on a carrier, they still matriculate through your carrier.
Add that of the 30% cut that the Play Store takes for apps and games, historically one half of that went to the carriers (it was always very nebulous, but again was one of the reasons carriers pushed Android when it was not good).
Android was in fact an alternative to iPhone. Google was more amenable to carrier and OEM mods to Android and third-party app stores. But carriers still were hoping the traditional OEM and app store walled gardens would hold, and Apple could be confined to high-end customers.
App store revenue, at that time, was still small for both the carriers' walled garden and for Apple. It was more a matter of control.
Even I was a happy WP user and but I can't be sure how much of my satisfaction was out of choice-supportive bias.
But since you asked...
But I mean, that was a 2 second search. Citations are indeed hard to come by...
I still don’t think the browser market is a good example right now.
There’s far better examples than this.
What company do we know that makes some the most complex web sites out there and would really benefit if the web had... I dunno WebGL so they could make a smooth mapping site, maybe with a 3D mode. Or a new version of HTTP so their sites load faster. Or a new version of TCP that works better on mobile. Or native web components that makes their web framework faster. Or HTML video so their video streaming site is more reliable.
I'll give you a hint - it starts with "Googl".
They created Chrome because IE was holding them back. Not to kill as blockers (did IE ever even support as blockers). Some people here don't use their brains...
Also when Chrome was released IE still had a 60% market share. You can't ignore that.
Also, I was not ignoring that IE had 60% market share. That's perfectly in line with what I said, as that market share was in fact shrinking without Chrome.
This is not meant to whataboutism, but the truth is the public/news cycles can only handle so many “tech” related items at one time. People are not “locked in” to any of the FANG companies nearly as much as they are their physical ISPs where they really do not have an option.
They will take this action against Google, and meanwhile, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts will continue to take in an average of $100 per customer per month.
This is, quite nakedly, Comcast influencing action against Google for trying to compete in broadband.
It is convenient that Comcast owns NBC while lobbying government for legislation it wants to see.
As an occasional content creator it's impossible not to be aware that the ISPs can limit access to the bandwidth I need, while any of the platforms I might use - PayPal, Ebay, Google/YouTube, Amazon, Apple, even Etsy - can kill an income stream at any time and keep all my earnings just because they want to, with no convincing good-faith resolution procedures and no (affordable) recourse.
Being able to access the internet at a competitive rate is more important IMO. FANG platforms depend on your ability to reach them.
Net neutrality, I'm convinced, is one of the only unifying political issues today. Breaking up Google isn't going to make people forget the expensive, low quality service from monopolistic taxpayer-funded broadband networks.
Gone are those days. I now trust Microsoft (heh! M!cr0$0ft, anyone?) more than Google which is strange given I grew up rebelling against MS’s technical desktop hegemony.
I wonder when Google decided “doing evil” was okay. I wonder how the SWE’s and other senior people in this thread feel about working for a company that many now consider scum. All their excuses and retorts can honestly take a hike: It is my honest opinion that if you still work for Google you’re selling us all out.
After years of serving malware through ads and doing nothing to stop it, they’re now trying to stop us blocking ads?! That’s just the last of many strikes that set me down this road.
Googler here, I understand why you may think Google is evil now and I'm not going to say they are a perfect company. But I think you should consider that it is a large company working on many different products. Not everyone is working on Ads or various "evil" things. Many of us work on things that people like and improve our lives.
If parts of the company is doing bad things, it doesn't make all of us sell outs in my opinion. Just like how every American that pays taxes isn't a sell out for all the bad things the US might do.
The penalty for not working for Google is effectively having to find work somewhere else. Not exactly oranges to oranges.
I appreciate that you may be working on things that improve people’s lives. How is that work funded? What would happen to those projects when they are deemed not profitable enough or endanger the evil stuff?
I didn’t write that post lightly, but with a heavy heart and a bitter taste in my mouth from a former #1 fan.
And yes, a lot of the work is funded by the "evil stuff" but Google is trying to expand their enterprise offerings and their hardware business is growing as well. I expect those to be profitable one day if not already.
So I don’t think it’s very comparable to say “you can just change countries.” The vast majority of people are stuck with their country, and the vast majority of people change jobs.
It must feel bad to work at Google. Making odd comparisons might be a symptom of explaining how positive things that are cool are still funded by ads that are at least annoying, but seem to be turning out to be anticompetitive and fraudulent even.
Just to follow this tangent briefly - I'd be surprised if that first statement is true by most definitions (I'd almost say the opposite), and the implication that 14.4% of the population is therefore a high level certainly isn't.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_d... has some detailed numbers. In short, although the US has the most immigrants in the world in total, many major nations have double or much higher percentages of foreign-born residents compared to the US. E.g. Singapore (43%), Switzerland (29%), Australia (33%), and that's ignoring the tiny countries with 50+%, or the middle eastern states with large migrant worker/refugee populations, like UAE at 84%, Qatar at 74%, Jordan at 40%, etc etc.
I don't really disagree with your main point - changing countries isn't _that_ hard as a US software developer, but changing jobs is certainly easier - but I keep seeing the US portrayed like this, and it's not really true.
That being said, I’m sure there are other countries higher than the US, but 15% is pretty high and certainly amongst the highest. I tried finding a good list that ranked countries but couldn’t easily find an apples to apples comparison like the US’ BLS. But I like your link because it’s helpful for comparison. I wish I had found it.
Their foreign born are mostly from neighbors NZ and UK.
Or do you mean that that number isn't correct somehow? It's based on a UN report, but I have no idea where their data comes from.
Both of them can stay as long as they want in Australia but they are always counted as "foreign born/citizens"
For broadband ISPs, on the other hand, you have one option. It's pricey and the service is not what it should be.
If people told me to feel badly about working for Google I'd tell them something not nice. There are real monopolies in the tech world, and Google isn't one of them.
Why is it that the things that Google creates that might actually "improve our lives" only last long enough to get people hooked into the G before said product is end of lifed?
I do not use a broad brush and paint 100% of Google employees as doing evil. However, I always think of the Grisham novel The Firm when thinking about Google. They lure very young, bright, talented employees in with the lure of very large pay checks. By the time said employees become aware of what the company actually represents, they are too entrenched into the lifestyles to "which they have become accustomed". At the same time, the users are lured in with free apps/tools/services that seem quite useful. Whether these apps/tools/services remain long term or not is a crap shoot, but G has you now
Unlike a bunch of others I never think I despised the majority of people working at neither Microsoft or Google.
But for the Chrome team; aren't they now actively undermining and weakening a major part of the Internet infrastructure by nerfing one of the most used clients to make sure it stops acting on behalf of its users?
Your position is arguably worse than selling out: Others do the dirty work – 'Ads or various "evil" things' – so you can do the nice stuff and claim a clean conscience.
You can't take a cut of that and clean your slate because you work on defensible projects.
Just take the hit: say you do value Google's work conditions in spite of the questionable things they do. It's honest and acceptable: there are no clean hands in this world.
You’re either lying to yourself or you’re naive. Either way it’s not an excuse to dismiss agency.
That's textbook selling out. As is using compartmentalization as rationalization.
Like what? Services that support the ads monetization, lock in users and strengthen control over the ecosystem?
What's so good about Microsoft? They filled their OS with spyware and adware and they seem to be incompetent as a tech company - remember their recent Windows update that deleted user data even though early testers have reported the issue.
The "spyware and adware" is added by those who sell the computers (i.e. the hardware manufacturers) rather than by Microsoft. It's been a way for them to make money with the slimming of the profit margins from the hardware. This isn't on Microsoft.
I find MS to be more trustworthy because of their income models. They are far less reliant on surveillance. Their market share isn't as dominant. And, they aim to be a platform rather than an aggregator (see the Bill Gates line).
Hmm? What about the surveillance tech that was added in Windows 8 through a Windows Update that sends pretty much all your activity to Microsoft? Am I missing something about this?
But only after Google, et. al. proved how willing we all are to trade our data for free stuff. This is just the new reality of SaaS, at least as targeted to the general public who now expect free updates for life, isn't it?
I occasionally see articles to that effect. But I have never been effected by such malware. And that includes 20+ years on the web, including the seedier corners, and without ever taking special measures like anti-virus.
As far as I can tell, this 'ad-distributed malware' are a few cases far between, completely blown out of proportions to justify peoples' use of ad blockers.
Oracle is fighting to stay relevant. Tencent/Baidu will dominate AI if Google gets nerfed. Microsoft and Amazon will take over all of western tech once Google/FB is out of the way.
The moment they incorporated, at the latest. Really. When people go to such lengths to tell you "we're not evil, honest!" -- you should know where it's going.
On that note, if unethical business practices weren't so profitable, Google and Facebook wouldn't be able to offer higher wages than other tech companies.
If you don't like their free no lock in service go elsewhere, and that's why there is no sherman act case here, which is why if the DOJ actually does anything here it would be a waste of time and resources.
The argument here is its unfair to bias ranking towards a preferred format. In this case, something about excluding competitors, except AMP is completely open-source so...?
The counterargument is yes you can, because it's your pamphlet/newspaper/website and you're the editor, not the government.
Of course as a consumer, I don't really care whether it's some random company or Google who gets to violate my privacy, and I especially couldn't care less about lack of innovation in the privacy violation business, so I think the antitrust angle here is pretty slim.
Go on... example?
No one is saying these broadcast groups don't have 1st amendment rights, just that they were going about it in an anti-competitive way.
The radio stations weren't broadcasting their prices to consumers, but secretly communicating with competitors to form a cartel, which is forbidden. Doesn't matter if they were radio stations or grocery stores.
You're describing any business, that's how business works.
Warren would appoint regulators who would reverse some of the biggest tech mergers that have taken place in recent years. That would mean the reversal of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and Zappos, Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google’s acquisition of Waze, Nest, and DoubleClick.
i figured mentioning a proponent of big tech breakup with valid legal credentials and a different political axe to grind might be useful evidence in deciding whether the antitrust case had any merit.
(i believe the Vox article is trying to be serious as well.)
Are you showing your age?
Remove the cause and not the symptoms!
> search quality in general does not use Google Analytics in ranking
> it won't affect your ranking
E.g. Being able to "blacklist" certain domains from results.
Same thing applies to youtube. You can not permanently block/remove/disable channels from being present in the content results/feed.
I think that deep-down Google high-ups "know" that giving some of these "basic" usability features would essentially disable their control of the content that they push to you. E.g. imagine publicly-shared black-lists of bad domains and bad channels that one could subscribe to. Similar to the ad blockings lists that have generated a bit of a thriving ecosystem. I.e. smart people would eventually use this basic "building block" to build content-control that would be more decentralized/democratic and really personal.
Basically you have a company and then people like us can upvote areas we think companies are breaking the law.
If Google is bad for using AMP to try and drive publishers to AMP hosting, then how is Amazon not even worse for ramming crazy terms down publisher's throats while buying or undercutting every other shipping and shopping system in the country? Amazon's pretty much dismantled and eaten the entire American book industry, it's in mid gulp of the American consumer shipping industry, it's already business critical via AWS for a majority of American businesses, and now it's turning to selling "AI" products to government and law enforcement.
As for Facebook, I think maybe Facebook isn't a monopoly. But they shouldn't be allowed to buy Youtube or Twitter.
Yup. Amazon can legitimately respond to trust and monopoly allegations with "Walmart, Azure, GCP, and Netflix."
The most recent FT Alphachat podcast with an official from the Fed talks about Uber this way: Uber (and Lyft) are taking money from somewhere and undercutting the classical taxi business. This is a problem for competition. They could feasibly try to run losses until 'regular cabs are pushed out' (or largely) and then lock up the business.
Amazon can do this with any number of products, they can do it to shipping companies, to grocers.
More abstractly, Google does it with mobile OS, possibly browsers etc..
In our new world of globalization, it's a serious problem.
All this money from Saudi Arabia, under the control of Softbank is coming back and just throwing markets upside down in what is arguably tantamount to 'dumping' which is a bad business practice generally.
Even we work is like this - it's losing tons of money, ultimately selling stuff below market value.
In some cases it's much more clear than others, but it's going to pose a problem.
This issue very well highlights the problematic idea that business is about 'better products and service' or even 'free markets' due to the fact that so much cash provides leverage that distorts markets quite heavily.
Alphachat with Robert Kapla @ FT:
After FB manages these acquisitions well, we are now like "FB is evil and anti-competitive".
Are different vocal minorities loudest at different times?
I’m not convinced people is a coherent group.
Does the fact that some people were mocking X at some point in the past negate the validity of antitrust cases against X for ever?
YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Linkedin, Reddit, Twitch are all major social networks and there are scores of smaller ones. In search it is basically just Google and Bing.
I don't know if this has been considered for these companies, but I suspect it may have been bypassed. At the very least, that's what an investigation would determine.
Removing competition is literally the most anticompetitive thing you can do. Like definitionally.
That’s why all major (edit: US) acquisitions take months to years to get approval from the SEC.
What is supposed to happen to competitors that are actually less efficient and/or produce less appealing products? Do people really expect “competition” to mean a perpetual exact tie between two or more competitors?
Well first off, predatory pricing is a thing, where competition shuts down because a market participant is deliberately losing money to gain market share in hopes of raising prices after everyone else gives up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing#United_State...
But a competitor doesn't have to shut down to be bought out. In fact, why would a company ever buy a competitor who's only alternative is shutting down? Seems far simpler to buy the useful assets from the bankruptcy. Here's one possibility I've seen: an inefficient incumbent buys a startup that has been winning procurement bids away from them lately. They have deep pockets from all the contracts not yet up for renewal, and can afford to buy the company now while they only have a few source of cash flow. End result is that prices remain high, and the borg lives on a little bit less cash flow until the contracts they just bought are up for renegotiation.
> What is supposed to happen to competitors that are actually less efficient and/or produce less appealing products?
They sell less, and make changes. Maybe they drop prices, invest in efficiency or pursue some differentiation strategy. It doesn't need to be a 50/50 but winner-take-all markets should not be surprised when regulators come knocking.