Boy…I wish I could pick sports like I can pick search! If you have been watching the news today in addition to the Fiscal Cliff going away (something I have been saying to any of my friends and family who would listen would happen since before the election) the FTC just threw in the towel in their investigation of Google. Not only did I call that they would get off effectively scott free they also gave up the minor concessions I said they would a few weeks back. Most significant of those are concessions around key patents they own which will prevent them from trying to claim ownership on pretty much every part of the mobile economy.
Whilst this isn’t a huge surprise given the commercial and lobby power Google commands the message is clear: The new and mobile economy is too important to mess with, even if that means protecting that the uncrowned king from assault from his resentful, truculent Lords and Barons. The fact that the commission apparently waded through 9 million pages of documents and testimony and came up with a conclusion that there was no “there” there is hilarious…what an enormous waste of effort….they could have read the firm warnings sent by the Google greats and their Silicon Valley supporters and saved a forest or two of trees. Actually I ran the math…if we figure they printed ten sets of documents during the investigation at 80,000 sheets of paper per tree they killed roughly 1,000 trees…so more of a copse than a forest…but you get my point.
Meantime in an echo of yesterday’s blog the Chinese have rather surprisingly just shut down Gougou.com. Ironically for a site which is clearly trying to copy even Google’s name they have been shut down for allegedly promoting too much pirated content in their results sets. This has to be a horrible blow to the parent company Xunlei who were planning to float on one of our exchanges. I guess they could try to re-launch but planning to drive traffic by being the next hot spot for the content pirates no-longer seems to be a viable business model. If this points to China taking other peoples intellectual property more seriously that has to be something we can all take heart from.