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Antitrust Experts: The State of Competition in Internet Search & Advertising

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Super User
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on Friday, 21 September 2012
in adMarketplace News

The following video comes from last week's FairSearch.org Searching for Innovation and Competition in the Onilne Marketplace conference held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. If you have some time and are interested in the current state and future of the search industry, Google's domination of it, and the antitrust issues associated with it, the video is well worth watching.

The panel featured an impressive lineup of legal minds and government officials:

• Bert Foer, American Antitrust Institute
• Pamela Jones Harbour, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., former FTC Commissioner
• Patrick Lynch, former Rhode Island Attorney General, past president of National Association of
Attorneys General, Consultant to FairSearch
• Nathan Newman, Research Fellow at the Information Law Institute, NYU Law, head of TechProgress.org
• Jim O’Connell, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Antitrust
Division, partner with Covington & Burling LLP

And here's the FairSearch recap of the event: Panelists Review Investigations of Google, Potential for Action 

adMarketplace Joins FairSearch.org

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Super User
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on Thursday, 26 January 2012
in adMarketplace News

FairSearch is coalition of “businesses and organizations united to promote economic growth,innovation and choice across the Internet ecosystem by fostering and defending competition in online and mobile search. We believe in enforcement of existing laws to prevent anti-competitive behavior that harms consumers.”

These are issues we believe in strongly, as we continue to grow and hire and compete with the likes of Google. Our CEO Jamie Hill expressed his concerns in AdWeek about the stifling of competition caused by Google’s antitrust behavior: "Google has a monopoly on the search business, but the question is how they leverage the search business to monopolize their other businesses. We have agencies that are dying for an alternative."

You can read the official FairSearch announcement here.

Another Plus for Google, Another Minus for Everyone Else

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Adam Epstein
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on Wednesday, 11 January 2012
in Industry Report

It turns out that Larry Page is amazing at Search Engine Optimization.

Starting yesterday, links to Google+ pages will rank as Google's top organic search result for...just about everything. Search expert Danny Sullivan says this is the "most radical transformation ever" for Google search results.

In other words: SEO is dead. Larry Page just killed it.

Google Fights Advertising Monopoly Charges with More Advertising

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Super User
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on Thursday, 08 December 2011
in Industry Report

Last Friday, the Department of Justice officially approved Google’s purchase of AdMeld. No surprise there.

The bad news for Google is that the purchase of display advertising exchange AdMeld could hurt its antitrust case with the Federal Trade Commission, since it signals even more consolidation. As noted by FairSearch, Google “is seeking to expand its monopoly power in search and search advertising to other aspects of online advertising, where Google is already the 800lb gorilla between its acquisition of DoubleClick in 2008, and multi-billion-dollar annual AdSense business.”

While the US government continues to play footsies with its new friend-with-benefits—benefits in the form of millions of dollars in lobbying fees and contributions—Europe is playing hard to get. The same day the DOJ approved the AdMeld purchase, the Financial Times revealed that the European Commission will soon release a 400-page(!) outline of its antitrust allegations against Google. Not helping its case here or across the pond: a ZenithOptimedia report released Monday that Google controls 44 percent of global online ad revenues.

Google’s strategy is to win back a public becoming increasingly skeptical of its “do no evil” ethos. Along with the ATM it set up in Washington, it has splurged on ads and marketing. Silicon Valley’s Mercury News reports that it has already spent nearly four times more on TV advertising time in the first six months of 2011 than in all of 2010. It seems to be working; Google has had five of the top 10 most effective TV ads by websites so far this year, according to Ace Metrix, which analyzes the effectiveness of TV ads.

But if more stories come out like this one, that Google’s “organic results are filler to pump deceptive ads at consumers,” it will have to spend a whole lot more to buy back the public’s goodwill and trust. At some point, no amount of lobbying or advertising will be enough to save Google from antitrust sanctions. That day seems to get closer with every new revelation.