Hang 'im high.
Google has agreed to have Eric Schmidt answer US politicians' concerns that the company is running an anticompetitive search and ads monopoly. Schmidt will testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights in the Fall. He will appear after the committee's Senators Herb Kohl and Mike …
The "concerns" that the US politicians are expressing include those of rich, powerful monopolists/lobbyists like Microsoft, which seems to be behind most attacks on Google. The main argument seems to be that Microsoft should be able to have free "inside access" to Google's products such as YouTube. Yes, this is the same Microsoft who is trying to crush the distribution of free products such as Android in the marketplace.
This boils down to a question of morality and ethics, IMHO. How can unethical corporate behavior be discouraged? To start off, one could ask questions, such as.
- Which companies act as corporate aggressors, openly threatening others/demanding extortion money, regularly initiating anticompetitive lawsuits, colluding with others to crush specific competitors, and manipulating governments for corporate gain?
- Which companies make consumers pay dearly for nearly all their products and services? Which companies give away most services, much of their expensive development work (such as video codecs, mobile phone and other OS's)?
- Which companies stand up for user and human rights (i.e. China, other government requests to invade user privacy), and which ones seem to flush ethics down the drain to make a sale?
- Which companies cooperate with other companies for prosocial ends, and which try to eliminate competitors?
Microsoft and Apple do not pass this test of corporate ethics, however Google has been largely an exemplary example of a good corporate citizen. This brings us to consumer morality: which companies would be the more moral choice for receiving the support of consumers? People are not forced to turn a blind eye to barely-legal corporate aggression, manipulation of governments for corporate profit, and openly anticompetitive business practices. People (like us) can vote with their wallets. If similar products are available from two companies, we can pick the product from the company who demonstrates the higher standard of ethics. This can encourage companies to act in an ethical manner, or risk going out of business due to consumers rejecting their products and services.
For example, Apple initiated a lawsuit against Samsung, and now their fellow patent-pool member Microsoft is also now attempting to extort "royalties" from Samsung for the free Android OS on its phones. So bypassing all Apple and Microsoft products in favor of Samsung (and Google) products would seem to be the more ethical choice here.
Microsoft is not - I repeat NOT - trying to crush Android. That is the single dumbest thing I have ever heard. Android is a REVENUE SOURCE for Microsoft. When the patent dust settles, they make a clean $15 for each copy sold.
Why would MIcrosoft try to eliminate one of their best earners?
Microsoft is still a behemoth that competes with Google in every market segment they are in. Finally someone is big enough to take M$ on and their very existence is threatend by the govenment?
Come on, This is all those M$ lobby dollars at work.
If they put M$ out of business then it can be considered a monopoly and that isn't happening anytime soon.
So far Google has shown little of the poisonous behaviours displayed by Apple & Microsoft & for that matter Oracle. To add a little reality to his points the ability of Microsoft, more so than the others, they have proven to have had a hand in interfering with politics, lobbying to slow the progress of other organisations, especially Google.
At this point Google has attempted to behave in a much less predatory behaviour to those of the others. That there genius is to make money out of advertising rather than such money from consumers is proof enough. While the cost of hardware has been decimated where is the cost of Microsoft's software? Has it decreased? Perhaps minimally & now their average at best, un-guaranteed software isn't required the way it once may have been. Microsoft have passed their use-by date & attempting to remain relevant by litigation & hindering progress. Stop buying their software & do the world a favour, use Linux instead.
I would also suggest that those who don't see this reality are either employees or beneficiaries of Microsoft or perhaps the other vipers...
"Failure to appear before the committee would have meant they'd broken US law and were liable for arrest."
And, if they grabbed a bunch of Google's cash and fled the country, they'd be in danger of being charged with embezzlement too. And suppose they hijacked the plane and ordered it to take them to China to start a new Internet Empire on the other side of the Great Firewall? Then there would have been serious diplomatic consequences. Should they actually succeed in taking over a majority of Chinese internet traffic, they could then expand their new services to Europe and the Americas, replacing the Google "monopoly" with a much bigger, better, global one.
All CEOs get caught saying some strange things, but I would suspect that Page and Brin are less versed where politics and business merge. That was one of the reasons why Schmidt was appointed in the first place; its a given that, despite his Novell/ Apple history, he is less versed in the technology and probably is not a visionary like Page and Brin, but I'm sure his real world experience is invaluable.
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