» A year and a half without clear choice: Although Microsoft claims that the missing screen was replaced as soon as the issue was brought to the company’s attention, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has announced that the EU is once again on the case. “We are now opening formal proceedings against the company,” said Almunia in a press release, adding, “If following our investigation, this breach is confirmed – and Microsoft seems to acknowledge the facts here – this could have severe consequences.”
That’s what a new antitrust case alleges: Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar find themselves facing a new antitrust lawsuit in California. The accusations come from five software engineers, who allege that the companies conspired to stifle pay and job mobility in an effort to cut costs. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the companies’ request to dismiss the suit, saying,” The fact that all six identical bilateral agreements were reached in secrecy among seven defendants in a span of two years suggests that these agreements resulted from collusion, and not from coincidence.” source
We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer (http://goo.gl/chKwi), and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.
As far as I know, this is the first time that Google (or Twitter) has publicly given any details as to why the tweet search deal was not renewed — “they chose not to renew their agreement with us”, which reads suspiciously like “fuck you, Twitter”.
I’ll ask Twitter to comment on Google’s response to Twitter’s response to Google.
[via Mathew Ingram on Twitter]
Switching gears, it appears Google and Twitter are fighting in public. We felt that face-slap that is Google’s post from way over here.
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 (via • follow)
» 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.
» 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.
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, eJustice.fr 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