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Bridget Kulakauskas [opinions]

The big dirty corporate uber-bad-guys [microsoft] [google] [competition]

That’s right, they’re the top dogs in the business; with “unprecedented control” in the technology industry and “access to a huge amount of consumer information”. And a concerned member of the technology community recently put out the call for scrutiny on the new big boys in town “from regulatory authorities to ensure a competitive... market”. Sounds like old news, huh? You know which big dirty corporate bad guys I’m referring to? The baddest of the lot... Google of course.

And really, this concerned member of the community is right to be concerned. I mean, their name and Google’s name keep popping up together, with Google proclaimed the new biggest guys on the block. And then they purchased Double Click and skyrocketed even further up.

But being the new leader in the industry has its pitfalls. One has to make sure one doesn’t succumb to the temptation of getting too big, to rich, and losing one’s scruples (if one had any to begin with). Yep, Google are getting big, and so some well meaning neighbourhood watch types are watching and encouraging the other neighbours and law enforcement to watch as though the community has become embroiled in some kind of techno virtual Desperate Housewives scenario. And who are these concerned citizens, these nosy next door neighbours, these paragons of virtue expressing the fears of the community and pleading for a close and watchful eye?

Well Microsoft, obviously.

On April 15th, Microsoft released this press release, raising their concerns about the buyout because it may well turn out to be anti-competitive if Google ends up with this monopoly and all the associated information.

And Microsoft should know.

When I read this press release, I was so shocked by the sheer audacity and hypocrisy of what they were saying that I was rendered temporarily speechless. I couldn’t even begin to imagine where to start. I’m not going into great detail, but I’ll leave you with these bits and pieces. “Access to a huge amount of consumer information”? Well I won’t use this as a forum for laying into Microsoft Genuine Advantage, but if you want some info, you can look here, here and here. And government intervention to “ensure a competitive... market”? If you type the search "Microsoft as non competitive" into Google, the fourth entry is the civil action by the USA against Microsoft... to prevent them from... “using exclusionary and anticompetitive [behaviours]”. Well, I guess they know the warning signs, huh.


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