The Department of Justice is putting the final touches on what could amount to a landmark antitrust case against Google.
How they ultimately rule could have serious repercussions for how the tech industry continues to develop, and what rights smaller firms have when competing with giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
However, even when the DoJ releases the charges, the battle will be far from over. Charging the monopolistic big tech giant is only half the fight, and it’s by far the easier of the two halves. When dealing with Google, the hardest part is and always has been responding back to the massive PR campaigns that the behemoth wages to weasel its way out of punishment.
In Google’s IP battle with Oracle, now known as the copyright case is the century, the courts at every level have quickly become acquainted with Google’s legal deflection tactics. Google attempted to purchase a commercial use license for Java, but it didn’t like the licensing terms and stole it instead. This would amount to a routine case of IP theft for any other company, but Google knows that its power and influence often puts it in a special category.
Remarks from co-founder Larry Page to a head Android programmer during the time of the licensing negotiations tells you everything that you need to know about the company’s confidence in its legal deflection tactics. In an e-mail, Page wrote, “we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language, or 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way."
Google’s bet has thus far paid off. Nearly a decade later, the company’s defensive legal battle continues, and it has yet to receive punishment. Later this year, Google v. Oracle will even find itself at the Supreme Court, with Google absurdly arguing that its theft of Java for business use qualifies for the fair use exemption to IP law.
Whether the company will ultimately get itself off the hook is anyone’s guess, but what’s not up for debate is that few, if any, other companies in the U.S. today would’ve been able to escape punishment this long on something that’s so egregiously wrong.
The DoJ should expect Google to engage in the same backhanded tactics to escape antitrust punishment once it releases its charges. For example, even though Google holds 70 percent of the market captive, it’s likely that the company leverage Amazon’s presence in the digital advertising industry to claim that there is plenty of competition. Google might have significant market share, it will say, but it’s just a natural monopoly – one that’s arisen due to efficiency and heighted consumer demand, and not anti-competitive, market-stifling practices. The facts, however, show otherwise, and the DoJ shouldn’t take the bait.
Action against Google is needed more than ever. Research shows that its access to location data, critical for its targeted ads, is so great that no one could possibly become competitive with the company, and the company. The company has also established a tracking presence on over 75 percent of websites to distort the playing field even further.
While the complicated nature of the legal system has allowed the Big Tech giant to drag Google v. Oracle around for a decade, the DoJ and executive branch can drain out much of the noise and act swiftly. For the sake of the American people that have been subject to its abuse, let’s hope it does.
Dan Perkins is an author of both thrillers and children’s books. He appears on over 1,100 radio stations. Mr. Perkins appears regularly on international TV talk shows, he is current events commentator for seven blogs, and a philanthropist with his foundation for American veterans, Songs and Stories for Soldiers, Inc. More information about him, his writings, and other works are available on his website, DanPerkins.guru. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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