Google Faces Legal Woes Worldwide

It’s been a tough week for Google as it faced legal challenges from around the world, the most prominent being that Department of Justice antitrust staff is preparing for the possibility of a suit to block the Internet giant’s acquisition of ITA.

Google continues buying binge, maintains image as innovator

Internet giant Google is leading led the tech sector in acquisitions buying almost twice the number of companies as second place IBM. The data, compiled by CB insights, shows Google has announced 23 acquisitions through Sept. 24 compared to IBM’s 12

Fortune says the “search party” is over for Google

Google has a stranglehold on search with 65 percent of the U.S. market — and even more in some other countries — but writing in Fortune magazine, Michael C. Copeland, says the Internet giant needs to find new sources of revenue or lose its status as a growth company.

Critics Call on Feds to Squelch a Google Monopoly

The concerns set forth by Microsoft, Consumer Watchdog, and other observers go beyond whether Google gives unfair prominence in search rankings to paid advertisers. Critiques range from “A company such a Google could abuse its search dominance” to “Google is already abusing its search dominance” to push its other revenue-generating services — such as maps, video, and shopping searches — at the expense of competitors.

Questions mount about Google’s AdMob deal

More concerns about Google’s $750 million proposed deal to buy mobile advertising company AdMob were raised Tuesday.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) wrote Jonathan Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, warning that the proposed deal “raises important competition issues which should be reviewed carefully…”

Google Identifies Competitors

Google sees an Internet far more crowded with competitors than just a year ago. At least, that’s what the company is telling government regulators. Critics of Google’s dominance in search — Americans use Google for
about two thirds of U.S. searches, and the company has more than 70
percent of U.S. search advertising revenue, and about 90 percent in
Europe — say the expanded list of competitors is an attempt by Google
to paper over its dominance. "I think they are feeling the heat from several serious antitrust
investigations, and that’s reflected in the language they are using in
the 10-K," said John Simpson, of Consumer Watchdog. He argued in a
recent blog post that Google’s statements that it has many competitors
actually proves that "the opposite is actually true" and that "the real
risk to Google’s business is not from competition," but that regulators
in the U.S. and Europe "will act in the interest of consumers and force
the Internet giant to engage" in competition.

Consumer Watchdog Lauds Clinton’s Call For Open Internet, Stresses Need For Online Consumer Privacy Safeguards

WASHINGTON, DC —  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s condemnation of
cyber attacks and censorship is an important endorsement of a free
global Internet, but just as important to ensuring the Internet’s
contribution to democracy and economic growth is a commitment to
consumer privacy, Consumer Watchdog said today.

Google Does An About-Face On China Policy

San Francisco, CA — In a surprise announcement late Tuesday, Google Inc. said it may turn its back on the huge Chinese market after a sophisticated cyber attack on the e-mail accounts of human rights advocates in the Asian nation. Some have dubbed the country’s censorship efforts, which apply to Yahoo
Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s search engines too, the "Great Firewall of
China." Users of Google.cn in China generally couldn’t look at images
of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, dig up information about Tibet’s
Dalai Lama or access the Web site for journalism watchdog organization
Reporters Without Borders, according to reports. "While Google
should never have agreed to censor search results in China in the first
place, it is doing the right thing by ending the practice now," said
John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog in Los Angeles. "The company should
be commended."

Taking Aim At Google, Apple Buys Mobile Ad Firm

Apple has bought mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless as cellphone competition heats up between the maker of the iPhone and Internet giant Google. Google’s purchase of AdMob is currently being examined by the US
Federal Trade Commission, and two consumer groups, the Center for
Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog, have urged the FTC to oppose
the deal on anti-trust grounds.

Consumer Groups Sound Alarm Over Google’s AdMob Buy

Google’s plan to acquire mobile ad network AdMob in a US$750 million deal announced last month is under fire from two consumer groups, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy. The two have asked the Federal Trade Commission
to block the deal, arguing that it would substantially lessen
competition in the mobile advertising market, harming consumers,
advertisers and application developers, among others.

Privacy Watchdog Condemns Google For Effort To Defund It: Calls For Greater Corporate Disclosure About Lobbying Efforts And Independent Privacy Chief

Washington, DC — Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court wrote
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt today questioning the company’s priorities
following efforts by one of Google’s top executives to dissuade a
charitable foundation from supporting the nonpartisan group’s privacy
efforts.

Google Chrome Privacy Issues Prompts Plea To Google Execs

Chief among the group’s complaints is Google Suggest, a
feature found in Chrome and other Google applications like Google
Toolbar.

In an effort to publicize what it claims are the privacy failings of Google…