When Microsoft recently announced its proposal to acquire Internet search giant Yahoo! for $44 billion, two things were immediately certain. First, consumers would be likely to see enormous potential benefits from a merger between the two companies. Second, bureaucrats, rivals, and Microsoft-haters of all shapes and sizes — but especially those that rhyme with frugal — would do anything they could to slow or stop the deal.p>Where there are clouds and lightning one can eventually expect to hear thunder. And behold, Google came booming through the stratosphere, or at least the blogosphere, with carefully-worded but dire warnings. The Chief Legal Officer for the leading search engine weighed in with a lawyerly series of leading questions: br> /p>
Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft — despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses — to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet?…Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors’ email, IM, and web-based services?br> Could they? Might they? Will they? The forces of Google, while careful not to make any outright accusations, certainly hope you think so. They hope to plant that thought in the minds of legislators and regulators.
“Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions,” the statement explains.p>All these questions are being asked because Google has a sincere concern for the well-being of you, the ordinary Internet searcher, right? That’s what the company claims: br> /p>
We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We believe that the interests of Internet users come first — and should come first — as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and alternatives explored.br> Who could doubt the sincerity of that statement? The company’s motto, after all, is “Don’t Be Evil.” When Google mouthpieces tell the story, their prime concerns are consumer welfare and the health of the Internet.
Right. Google’s real concern has nothing to do with welfare and a whole lot to do with market share. Right now, Google leads the online search market by substantial margins. Worldwide, its share of search-related revenues hovers around 75 percent. In the U.S., roughly 65 percent of all searches are conducted through Google. In Europe, that number is nearly 90 percent.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?