Here’s proof that not all the tech news today is coming from Las Vegas and CES. CivicScience, the Pittsburgh, PA-based startup company that has been featured on this site (and that I help out with PR activities from time to time) announced today that heavyweight Mark Cuban is joining its Advisory Board. It’s a huge win for the company and a great addition to its already stellar list of advisors that includes Kevin McClatchy, Chairman of McClatchy Newspaper Company. Continue reading
After five years (minus one very short sabbatical), I will be stepping away from my role as Managing Director at CLS at the end of January. This is a decision I made months ago and my departure has been closely coordinated with the higher ups.
I still haven’t decided what is next for me – be it here in DC or maybe elsewhere – but I can promise you I am going to enjoy every single minute while figuring it out.
Thankfully, this now gives me more time to concentrate on this awesome blog. Sweet.
It is expected that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) nearly 20-month antitrust investigation of Google will finally coming to a close – sometime in early January – with the announcement of a settlement agreement.
Just before Christmas, an agreement in this case seemed all but certain. However, immediately after the framework of a settlement leaked, Google’s competitors went into full attack mode, and we quickly saw an onslaught of public criticism, not just against Google, but also the FTC, questioning the credibility of the agency and its commissioners and even suggesting the DOJ take over the investigation.
The FTC has devoted countless hours and resources on an incredibly broad and thorough inquiry into Google’s business practices. In the end, it’s clear there just isn’t a strong case. Not all investigations by any regulatory agency end with a lawsuit or some debilitating consent decree – nor should they. To the contrary of what some would have us all believe, a collaborative agreement between Google and the FTC would further demonstrate that the agency as an institution is as strong as ever and that the process works.
It is not the role of the FTC to punish companies for the sake of justifying its investigation; its charge is to protect consumers and to enforce the law when a violation if found. To seek a settlement with Google, rather than pursue a destined-to-fail lawsuit, is a signal of strength, not weakness.
And, more importantly, regardless of the outcome, this case won’t define the FTC anymore than it will define Google.
*Disclosure: Google is a client of my employer.
Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission division responsible for Competition Policy released a statement today updating the world on the Commission’s one+ year-long antitrust investigation into Google.
The statement notes that the Commission has identified four areas of concern after completing it’s lengthy investigation – all related to search. Nothing on mobile. Almunia acknowledged Google’s willingness to work with the EC to allevate any concerns, and it looks like a settlement could be in the works.
But what is the most interesting party of this story is that the Commission will not be releasing a formal Statement of Objections against the company. This is huge news for Google and comes only weeks after the Federal Trade Commission announced that it hired famed litigator Beth Wilkinson to help in its own case against the company.