Author Archives | Tom Krazit

An Inside Look at Google’s Loudest Critic

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jamie Court, chief spokesman John Simpson, Washington coordinator Carmen Balber, and social-media strategist Josh Nuni are planning the Future of Online Consumer Protections conference, which was taking place Wednesday amid the Federal Trade Commission’s release of a report that threw the government’s weight behind a “Do Not Track” list for the Internet: a controversial sentiment among companies that make their money advertising on the Web. They’ve been handed an early Christmas present courtesy of the European Commission, which chose to announce its decision to formally investigate Google on the eve of Consumer Watchdog’s conference as Simpson almost gleefully fields calls from reporters asking for reaction to the investigation.

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Reback Rehearses for the Case Against Google

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gary Reback, an attorney with Carr & Ferrell and a prominent figure in the antitrust trials involving Microsoft, told attendees at Consumer Watchdog’s Future of Online Consumer Protections conference here that the European case, built off complaints by a comparison shopping engine, could demonstrate that Google has improperly penalized specialty search engines in its quest to maintain its leading search engine market share. The refrain is a familiar one among Google critics: that Google’s Universal Search unfairly promotes its own content over that of competitors.

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FTC to Release ‘Do Not Track’ Report on Web Privacy

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

David Vladeck, head of the bureau of consumer protection at the FTC, told attendees at Consumer Watchdog’s Future of Online Consumer Protections conference that the agency plans to release the report later this morning that will lay bare the FTC’s commitment to giving U.S. consumers greater choice when it comes to opting out of online tracking. Vladeck declined to get into specifics for fear of upstaging his boss later in the day, but said “we need to reduce the burden on consumers” to monitor how companies are tracking their activities on the Internet for advertising purposes.

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Google Rejects, Then Approves, Anti-Google Ads

Friday, September 10, 2010

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On Thursday, Consumer Watchdog complained about the ad rejection in an open letter published on its site, and a Google representative confirmed Friday that Google had overturned the original decision but did not admit making any error. “As the trademark owner, upon becoming aware of their letter, we decided–regardless of whether these particular ads violate our policies or not–to authorize them to run,” a Google representative said.

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DOJ: Google’s Book Settlement Needs Rewrite

Friday, September 18, 2009

The U.S. Department of Justice late Friday urged the court overseeing Google’s book search settlement with authors and publishers to reject the settlement in its current form, although it strongly hinted that the parties are flexible on certain provisions.

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Google Polishes Competition Charm Offensive

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Google continued to lay the groundwork Wednesday for
an antitrust defense in the event that the federal government decides
to take a formal look at its core business.
Inside a conference room in Google’s San Francisco office,
executives ran through essentially the same presentation leaked last
month by the consumer activist group Consumer Watchdog,
focusing most of their efforts on trying to paint a picture of Google
as just one part of a large Internet ecosystem, as opposed to a
dominant search giant.

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