Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Do Walk Away, Sergey (and Google) From the Yahoo Deal

Today comes news that jumping-on-prone California Attorney General Jerry Brown is thinking of climbing onto the federal government bandwagon heading right for the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., to stop the search giant’s online advertising deal with Yahoo.

Brown joins big advertisers, newspapers and whatever mudslingers Microsoft (MSFT) can gather (and, let it be said, Microsoft can sling a lot of slimy mud).

They are all are coalescing around the notion that Google cannot have even the slightest possibility of getting its big mitts into the innards of Yahoo (YHOO).

Even though its stock has suffered of late, in part due to the possibility of a tussle with the government, Google (GOOG) has consistently argued that the arrangement does not hinder competition.

Google has also insisted that it will move ahead with the deal–which was struck as a parry to Microsoft’s attempt to buy Yahoo and is set to begin next month–no matter what.

I actually believe Google execs when they say this because they have shown a strong streak of stubbornness on controversial issues–witness the company not backing down from the Viacom lawsuit–about which they believe they are in the right.

Still, while Google would by no means control a lot of Yahoo’s search ads, the fact that the pair together have an 80 percent share of the search market apparently frightens ordinary mortals outside the Google bubble.

Maybe–even though Google exhibits none of the thuggish behavior that so characterized Microsoft’s monopolistic hegemony–it should.

Because added to that, Google just keeps announcing more and more earth-girding moves, such as today’s O3b Networks.

This joint project with Liberty Global aims to deliver cheap Web connectivity to Africa and other emerging markets.

O3b stands for “other 3 billion” and it is an admirable effort, as well as a good idea for making Google even more globally ubiquitous as the way people access the Internet.

And also today, more proof of Google’s dominance, with comScore’s latest stats on video use on the Web in July.

No shock–Google properties, primarily YouTube, accounted for 44 percent of the 11.4 billion videos viewed in the month.

Fox Interactive Media was a distant second with 3.9 percent, while Microsoft sites clocked in at 2.5 percent, Yahoo at 2.4 percent, Hulu at 1 percent and AOL at 0.8 percent.

Users on Google sites watched an average of 54.7 videos each, compared to 11.7 videos for Disney and Viacom, the next closest in videos-watched numbers.

While a lot of the media companies have more ad-rich premium content than Google, it is still a picture of one huge giant and a lot of teeny pygmies in the video space.

You see the pattern here, don’t you? So do regulators.

One has to wonder exactly when Google will see it.

And in that spirit, here’s “Walk Away Renée,” done by a very talented singer (but not The Left Banke, which did it originally).

I found it on–of course!–YouTube:

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