Microsoft Sued By Company That Won Patent Lawsuit Against Google In 2012

bing-legal-law-featured [caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="240"] Image courtesy Shutterstock.com[/caption] New York-based Vringo has sued Microsoft over two patents that pertain to the ranking and placement of ads in search results. The patents were originally issued in the early '90s and owned for a long time by Lycos, which later sold them. The patents in question are 6,314,420 and 6,775,664, referred to in the complaint (below) as the "420" and "664" patents. They wound up at Vringo, a company that sells video ringtones for mobile phones. The company's real business however is pat [...]


Google Details How It Responds To Government Requests For User & Search Data

online-privacy Google has written a blog post documenting their legal process and approach to dealing with government requests for user and search data, highlighting a new section now available in Google that also answers more of these questions. Governments routinely ask search engines like Google for access to user data for various reasons. From search logs, to email accounts, to browser history, to purchase history. Google says they take each request incredibly seriously. They post transparency reports for all user data requests issued by governments around the world. In the U.S. they even document [...]


Google Earnings Show Halt Of CPC Decline, At Least Temporarily

TAC-Google4Q One of the closest-watched metrics by marketers and investors -- the cost-per-click across Google's advertising business -- increased approximately 2% in the fourth quarter, as compared to the third quarter, after several consecutive quarters of decline. The company released the figure as it announced revenues of $14.4 billion in the usually-busy fourth quarter. The fourth quarter average CPC was still down -- approximately 6% -- as compared to the same period last year, but, given recent quarters, any upward movement in CPC is noteworthy. A recent report from Adobe indicated that the compa [...]


After Years Of Anti-Competitive Complaints Foundem Sues Google In UK Court

Foundem Bloomberg reports Google is yet again being sued, this time by UK's shopping search engine, for alleged anti-competitive practices. This comes a week after the FTC ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove search bias by Google in their search results. Foundem is seeking damages for revenue lost as a result of Google’s “anti- competitive conduct,” lawyers for Foundem said. “Since a lack of original content is an inherent characteristic of all search services, including Google’s own, that reason cannot justify” Google's actions, Foundem said in the U.K. lawsuit. The [...]


Google Piracy Algorithm May Be Reviewed By UK Regulators

piracy-cd-music-featured The Guardian reports that regulators within the United Kingdom will be reviewing Google's efforts to remove piracy web sites from their search results because they feel Google has not done enough. In August, Google launched the Pirate Algorithm, which is designed to lower the ranking of sites that are repeatedly reported and found to have copyright infringement cases on the site. You can learn more on how that algorithm works over here. UK regulators are not satisfied and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said they will review the technical changes promised by Google in order [...]


After Meeting With Eric Schmidt, France Stands By Threat To Write Law Forcing Google To Pay To Link To News Sites

google-g-logo-2012 The French government is digging in its heels. After a meeting today with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, French President Francois Hollande reiterated the government's plans to create a new law to force Google to pay when it links to newspaper websites. The spat has been going on for a few weeks, since the French government first proposed a law that would require search engines to pay to link to content. After the original back and forth, plans were made for today's meeting in Paris. As Reuters is reporting, President Hollande didn't back down. The president reiterated that F [...]


Pay To List French News Sites? “Non,” Writes Back Google To France — It’ll Just Drop Them

google-france Google has sent a letter to the French policy makers about a proposal to charge Google for linking to their content. France 24 reports Google threatened French publishers by telling them they will not pay to link to their content and if they are forced to, Google will simply stop linking to them. The official letter, written in French, doesn't appear to be written in such a direct tone. The letter describes how this proposal can hurt the internet as a whole, can hurt French readers and most importantly - hurt French publishers. Google says they send four billion clicks per month to publi [...]


Google Q3 Earnings Leak: $14.1 Billion, Disappoint Surprised Investors

google-earnings-money-featured Google's Q3 "consolidated earnings" leaked early and are below analysts' expectations. Search clicks were up 33 percent vs. a year go but CPCs were down 15 percent, probably a result of the impact of lower mobile CPCs. Traffic acquisition costs were also up, as were other expenses. Investors were surprised by the early release and generally disappointed. The press release, which appeared on the SEC website, says "pending Larry quote." So the early release was a draft and not final. Clearly this was a mistake. Earnings were supposed to come out after the market closed today. Nonetheless the [...]


Eric Schmidt Floats Idea Of A Yahoo-Google Search Partnership

yahoo-google-bing-hearts-featured Apple, Google and mapping apps weren't the only thing that Eric Schmidt spoke about today in Tokyo. Forbes is reporting that Schmidt also floated the idea of a Google-Yahoo search partnership. Dow Jones reporter Kenneth Maxwell was at the event, and shared this statement with Forbes: Yes, I can confirm, Eric Schmidt definitely said they'd be interested in working with Yahoo US. He also said nothing doing for the time being, but they would be interested. It was also mentioned to him that there is new management at Yahoo US with a Google connection. But he played it pretty straight…. He al [...]


Google Doesn’t Require Google Search On Android, Despite What FairSearch & Microsoft Want You To Believe

android-featured Fairsearch, a group backed by Microsoft and other Google competitors to lobby that Google isn't "fair" to them with its search results, has been having a event today to push its view of all that's wrong with Google. That includes building a myth that Google requires that all Android devices to use Google search. Google doesn't do that. It never has. But that's a good story the group still wants to tell. The FairSearch Event Today's mythbuilding came out of a panel called "Tech Executives: Exploring Barriers to Innovation in Mobile and Online Services," part of the FairSearch "Searching for I [...]


Google Set For Public Shaming By British MPs Upset Over Company’s UK “Tax Evasion”

Google has done nothing illegal. Just the same some British Members of Parliament (MPs) are angry and will likely call company executives (probably Eric Schmidt) to testify about why Google doesn't pay its "fair share" of taxes in the UK. According to published reports and company filings Google made £395 million ($620 million) in revenues in the UK in 2011 but paid £6 million ($9.5 million) in taxes. That works out to be about 1.5 percent of revenue. According to a story in the UK Independent, some MPs and members of the public are upset by what they see as unfair tax avoidance. This [...]


Are The Analysts Wrong About Google’s Undervalued Stock?

Writers and analysts who keep an eye on the value of certain stocks, have been writing all year about the curious phenomenon of Google's stock price. They generally say something along the lines of, "If you compare Google's cash generation capabilities, why is it valued so much less than Apple?" or similar statements. Is it true that Google is undervalued or, in fact, might the lower than expected stock price be due to none other than Google itself? If you read this column regularly, you'll know that generally, as Google releases its performance figures each quarter, I like to break them [...]


On Google Earnings Call, Google Ignores FTC Definition Of “Paid Inclusion”

google-g-logo-96x100 On its earnings call today, an analyst asked Google about the new paid inclusion model for Google Shopping. The analyst got corrected. Google doesn't call what it's doing paid inclusion, he was told. That's because Google is comfortable continuing to ignore the US Federal Trade Commission's definition of what "paid inclusion" is. It's yet another example that the search engine industry doesn't really care about the FTC's search engine guidelines. Definitions? We Don't Need No Stinkin' FTC Definitions I'll update this story with the extended quote after the earnings transcript goes live later [...]


As The Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance Falls Short, Could A Yahoo-Google Deal Emerge?

yahoo-google-bing-hearts-featured Once again, Yahoo is earning so little under its search deal with Microsoft that Microsoft is having to make up the difference due to a revenue guarantee. If the performance doesn't improve, Yahoo might go looking for a new partner, which could include Google. Let's explore how the deal has continued to falter, quarter-after-quarter, and how the seemingly inevitable failure might lead Yahoo back to one-time partner Google. The RPS Gap During its earnings call this week, Yahoo chief financial officer Tim Morse said there continues to be a gap between the expected revenue earned per search [...]


Ironically, Search Might Be Less A Priority At Yahoo As Google’s Marissa Mayer Takes The Helm

yahoo-search-marissa-mayer-featured Wow. Wow. Wow. That's all that keeps running through my head as I digest the news that long-time Google executive Marissa Mayer is to take over as president and CEO of Yahoo. Smart move for Mayer. Smart move for Yahoo. And as I'll explain more, perhaps a move that finally takes Yahoo out of the search game, but takes it out in a smart way. A Force To Be Reckoned With I've known Mayer since she started at Google in 1999. Until she moved off of being vice president of search in 2010, Mayer was the Google executive I had the most contact with. When we were first introduced, my reaction to Googl [...]


Why Apple Is Going “Containment” Not “Thermonuclear” Against Google In iOS 6

apple-google-featured I keep hearing people talking about Apple finally going "thermonuclear" on Google with the forthcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system. No, it hasn't. In fact, there are good reasons why it can't, though Apple is certainly exercising a much more subtle and smart containment strategy. Themonuclearly Renewing With Google The thermonuclear reference comes from the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson, where Jobs was so upset about Google's Android operating system -- and the theft from Apple that he viewed it to be -- that he said to Issacson in early 2010: I’m going to destroy Andr [...]


Google Grows Revenues 24% From Last Year, Plans New Class Of Stock

google-earnings-featured Google's revenues rose to $10.65 billion in the first quarter of 2012, resulting in net income of $2.89 billion, or $8.75 per share, the company announced after market close today. The revenue number represents a 24% increase over the year-ago period. Additionally, the board of directors proposed the creation of a new class of non-voting shares -- to be distributed as a dividend to all current shareholders -- effectively resulting in an two for one stock split. "We had a very strong quarter," said CEO Larry Page on a conference call with press and analysts, "Since becoming CEO again, I have [...]


Page To Anti-Trust Critics: “Actions” & Google+ Are An Essential Part Of Search

google-headquarters-featured-2 Google's taken flak over the past year from critics about how the company has been integrating actions such as booking flights or hotels into its search results. It's also faced criticisms that it is leveraging its search dominance to build its Google+ social network. I found it notable that Google CEO Larry Page, in his "2012 Update from the CEO" letter, essentially pushed back against both criticisms. Page doesn't say he's attacking these criticisms in the update. That's my own reading between-the-lines. But nothing in the letter would have been presented without a good reason. I think [...]


Looking Back At Larry Page’s First Year At Google’s Helm

google-spider-web-featured Two articles appeared today that reflect on the first year of Larry Page's return to the CEO role at Google. Bloomberg's Brad Stone does a Q&A with Page in which he discusses the larger competitive challenges Google faces and some of his management philosophy. The other piece is from Wired writer Steven Levy and is a bit of a counterpoint to the mostly upbeat Bloomberg story. Stone declines to query Page about privacy, antitrust and Google's myriad problems with regulators and governments around the world. In his answers about a range of issues, Page is confident and seemingly reflectiv [...]


Report: Google Makes $10 Per Android User Per Year

android-money-dollars-featured An analysis performed by UK publication The Guardian on court documents filed in the patent litigation between Google and Oracle suggests that Google has made less on Android handsets than from the iPhone. The court documents are part of a settlement proposal filed in the case. There's no overt discussion of revenues in the documents. Instead there are some potential damages figures from which The Guardian has extrapolated Google revenue numbers. NOTE: See our own follow-up analysis, No, Google Doesn’t Make Four Times More Off The iPhone Vs. Android The publication reports "Android genera [...]


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