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01 Oct 2011 15:35


Politics, Tech: Eric Schmidt on Google’s antitrust case: We’re not that bad, really

  • So we get hauled in front of the Congress for developing a product that’s free, that serves a billion people. Okay? I mean, I don’t know how to say it any clearer. I mean, it’s fine. It’s their job. But it’s not like we raised prices. We could lower prices from free to…lower than free? You see what I’m saying?
  • Google Chairman Eric Schmidt • Proving to be a bit cagey in an interview after taking questions at a Senate hearing a week ago. Google is facing antitrust questions that they’re abusing their power in the search market, and Schmidt claims that there’s a disconnect at play between Washington and the tech culture of Silicon Valley. “The press is so young, they don’t understand the history here,” he said. “We’re still a small component of what a whole bunch of other companies have done, and certainly most other industries. So I reject all such charges.” Think he’s right about all this? source

12 May 2011 10:32


Tech: Did the Justice Department hinder Microsoft? No. Outside forces did.

  • 93.9% Windows’ share of the desktop operating system market in 2002, after an antitrust settlement with the Justice Department
  • 91.1% Windows’ share of the desktop market today … as the Justice Department’s oversight ends; it’s like nothing actually changed source
  • » Then again, a lot has: The computer industry has evolved away from Microsoft’s model while still remaining tightly attached to it. With the growth of tablets and mobile phones (two markets where Microsoft simply struggles to stay afloat), and the evolution of open-source and Web apps into methods that get around Microsoft’s dominance, in many ways the company is weaker, even if we mostly still use Windows, even though OSX is probably better. Also, we think Google’s Chromebooks could chip into Microsoft’s market share in short order. None of these things are the Justice Department’s doing, though. The tech industry, instead, worked around Microsoft.

20 Mar 2011 21:30


Biz: AT&T’s T-Mobile buyout: Infrastructure, antitrust concerns at play

  • 35 million subscribers on T-Mobile’s current wireless setup
  • 100M number of subscribers Verizon has, buoyed by a large infrastructure that nobody can touch
  • 95M number of subscribers AT&T has — if the merger goes through, they’ll top Verizon
  • 40M number of subscribers Sprint has; they were also having merger talks with T-Mobile source
  • » It’s all about infrastructure: AT&T is trying hard to play catch-up with Verizon, which not only has more customers and bandwidth, but also now has the iPhone. The bummer for T-Mobile users is that AT&T’s monthly rates are far higher than T-Mobile’s, which as you might guess has people worried. While T-Mobile has tried to get ahead of talk like this, the concerns are enough that many analysts are warning that the deal won’t go through.

30 Nov 2010 09:42


Biz, Tech: European Union targets its frickin’ laser beam at Google’s head

  • Is Google acting anti-competitively? Does it use its search-engine prowess to favor its own services over those of competitors? Does the company’s market share (66 percent in the U.S., 80 percent in Europe) constitute a monopoly? Do sites like Foundem, and Ciao (the latter owned by Microsoft) have bad luck with Google because of crappy information-thin design that completely wastes your time and has little relevance (which we’d argue with the first two) or because there are competitive issues afoot (which seems realistic with the last one)? The European Union is asking these questions themselves as part of an antitrust trial. Seems Google’s getting too big for its britches. source

04 Aug 2010 10:42


Tech: How likely is it that the FTC is investigating Apple over Flash?

  • VERY they denied Wired’s FOIA request source

23 Jul 2010 23:08


Biz: SEC settlement: Dell pays for pumping up earnings with Intel’s money

  • $4.3 billion the amount Dell reportedly received from Intel from between 2003 and 2007 for using their chips exclusively
  • $100 million the amount Dell has to pay in fines today; the Intel fees are subject of antitrust inquiries source
  • » Don’t forget: This was largely the same era during which Dell knowingly sold millions of computers with 97 percent failure rates. So if you want to talk about business practices which eventually led to lawsuits and SEC settlements, look no further than Dell circa 2005.

21 May 2010 14:13


Tech: FTC to Google: OK, you jerks can acquire AdMob

Google went through months of back-and-forth about the acquisition, which kinda seemed silly after Apple made it clear they’d have competition. source

03 May 2010 17:06


Tech: Could Apple face antitrust issues over the Flash thing?

  • MAYBE the feds are on the case source

24 Feb 2010 22:02


U.S.: Finally, a health care detail most of the House can agree on

  • 406 “yeas” to repeal an antitrust exemption for insurers source

25 Jan 2010 21:13


Biz: The Justice Dept. finds silver lining in Ticketmaster and Live Nation

  • The merger has been approved after a yearlong investigation. This nightmare merger had been what many music fans had been fearing, but it appears the Justice Department found some common ground. “We were prepared to litigate this case, and I told the parties that,” said Justice Department antitrust representative Christine A. Varney. “The required divestitures and behavioral prohibitions alleviate our concerns.” Ticketmaster has to ditch a ticketing division and license its software to a competitor. Oh, and the boys at Justice will be watching them like a hawk for 10 years. Good idea – music fans will thank you. source