Target: Google

Antitrust run amok

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In a November 2007 speech at the headquarters of Google, Barack Obama said he wanted to empower innovative, entrepreneurial geeks so "the next Google has a shot." A few months into Obama's presidency, Christine Varney, the top antitrust enforcer at the Justice Department, has made it clear that she shares the boss's interest in Google. Only her approach may be less than benign.

In a May speech at the Center for American Progress, Varney declared that "vigorous antitrust enforcement must play a significant role in the government's response to economic downturn." Since then, she has opened an investigation into Google's 2008 settlement with authors and publishers over potential copyright violations by the company's book scanning project. Given Google's already significant lead in the book digitization race, the Justice Department worries that the settlement, which insulates Google from further copyright lawsuits, would make Google unbeatable in the digital book market. In June, Varney's office began making formal requests for information about the deal.

Google's dominance in search and online advertising, coupled with its aggressive moves into other product areas, may have drawn Varney's ire as well. In a June 2008 speech, she compared the search giant to previously trust-busted Microsoft, saying: "I think we're going to continually see a problem, potentially, with Google. Companies will begin to allege that Google is discriminating, not allowing products to interoperate with other products."

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  1. “…not allowing products to interoperate with other products.” Christine Varney illustrates a misunderstanding or ignorance of Google’s modus operandi and philosophy with that statement. If she’s looking for witches to hunt in the “works only with our stuff” fray — not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that — she need only look at Apple*. But with Al Gore on the Board, is it too cynical of me to think the Obama administration would cast a blind eye to everything Steve Jobs could possibly do?

    *Disclaimer: I buy and enjoy Apple products.

  2. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  3. ..in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

  4. thank you man thanx a lot’s

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