Google Demands Fairness, When Convenient

by on July 30, 2007 · 10 comments

Google’s Policy Blog today makes a succinct argument for why its purchase of DoubleClick should be approved. While I find their reasoning compelling and logical–in fact, I don’t think any justification should be necessary–I find it hard to be sympathetic to a plea for fairness when Google is asking DC to stack the deck in its favor on other issues.

Example: Google has issued an ultimatum to the FCC, asking it to offer up the 700 Mhz spectrum–the radio waves that will be free when TVs switch over to digital in 2009–with conditions attached. These conditions would make all potential bidders conform to Google’s business model.

What other example in history do we have of a company actually demanding strings be attached to an FCC auction such as this? If anyone can think of such an example I encourage you to comment. As far as I know, this is totally unprecedented.

And why ask the FCC to place limits on something you plan to buy? That seems a little odd. Unless you want to reduce the value of the spectrum to competitors that operate under different models.

What about these other models? More on that later when I discuss the idea of ‘openess’ in a post later today.

These types of restrictions are just political games, which Google doesn’t like when they prevent Larry and Sergey from making an aquisition or collecting different kinds of data. Yet the same political maneuvering is just fine when the men of Moutain View can use hapless regulators to make a mint at the public’s expense.

Hat Tip: John Battelle’s Searchblog

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