Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Miss BoomTown Goes to Washington (Of Course, for MicroHoo Plus Google)

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

Today, BoomTown boards the Acela Express from New York’s Penn Station to D.C.’s Union Station to attend the Senate hearing on the Yahoo agreement with Google to outsource some of its ad search business.

Titled rather ominously, “The Google-Yahoo Agreement and the Future of Internet Advertising,” the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights (eek!) will hear testimony at 10:30 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building from a passel of Internet reps, including those from Yahoo, Microsoft and Google.

It is chaired by Sen. Herbert Kohl (D., Wis.).

Will there be a lovely video of event? Indeed, there will be!

Added plus: I went to college and even worked on Capitol Hill, all before toiling at the Washington Post (Hey, Marcus!) for a dog’s age, so I know my way around the place.

And, as BoomTown readers might recall, I am not for the deal, mostly because it gives Google even more market power, even though the partnership is limited.

As I wrote:

As someone who has been a longtime critic of Microsoft’s (MSFT) historically thuggish tendencies, BoomTown finds it a little hard to believe that Yahoo and Google think that they can get away with any kind of significant search-ad outsourcing deal that would move the needle at Yahoo … .

And while it might be a long-cherished dream of Google’s to take over Yahoo search–and also get the chance to return to the scene of the crime, since Google got its first big push from doing Yahoo search, before Yahoo (YHOO) wised up too late–there is simply no way this will be allowed by regulators. Nor should it.

Still, you have to almost admire the chutzpah of the search giant in making this move, if the sheer and unadulterated arrogance of it wasn’t so distracting.

Because, while Google (GOOG) has almost none of the obvious menacing aggression that characterized Microsoft when it thoroughly dominated tech (although all those beach bikes on its campus inexplicably creep me out a little bit), the company still cannot be allowed to have a monopolistic share of the market.

It is bad for advertisers, it is bad for consumers, it is bad for innovation, no matter how well-intentioned Google is.”

So, you might imagine, I am looking forward to biting into this tasty piece of political theater!

Here is the list of speakers:

David Drummond
Senior Vice President
Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Mountain View, Calif.

Michael Callahan
General Counsel
Sunnyvale, Calif.

Brad Smith
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Redmond, Wash.

Matthew Crowley
Chief Marketing Officer
Glendale, Calif.

Tim Carter
President and CEO
Cincinnati, Ohio

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus