Google Has $14 Billion Quarter But Misses Earnings Estimates

google-featured Google reported its second quarter earnings and revenues today. Total consolidated revenues (including Motorola) were $14.11 billion. That represents a 19 percent increase vs. last quarter, which was good -- but not good enough apparently. By most analyst estimates, which were extremely bullish, this was a miss. Google is off in after-hours trading. Here are the highlights by category: Google revenues: $13.11 billion, a 20 percent increase over Q2 2012 Google-owned sites: $8.87 billion, an 18 percent increase over Q2 2012 Google Network revenues: $3.19 billion, a 7 percent inc [...]


South Korea Drops Antitrust Investigation Against Google

google-legal-law In early 2011, South Korean search and portal providers NHN Corp. and Daum Communications filed antitrust complaints with the South Korean equivalent of the US Fair Trade Commission against Google. Both companies claimed that Google had blocked them from putting their search apps on Android phones in South Korea. Today, it was reported (via NextWeb) that Google has been cleared in the investigation. NHN’s complaint originally alleged that “Google has banned South Korean phone manufacturers from including Web search applications made by other companies under its marketing contracts . [...]


Google Grabs 15-Acres In Palo Alto, Securing More Office Space Near The Googleplex Headquarters

google-g-logo According to a number of news organizations, Google has purchased approximately 15-acres in Palo Alto that include a collection of developed parcels on the 1000 block of East Meadow Circle and a small area of undeveloped space on Fabian Way. While a Google spokesperson confirmed the real estate purchase to the Mercury News, the search giant did not comment on what they plan to do with the newly gained office space. Google purchased the land from the California Pacific Commercial Group for a reported $60 to $70 million in cash. The East Meadow Circle location includes seven buildings and [...]


Europe Calls For More Concessions From Google, Survey Says “Rival Links” Not Enough

google-eu-200px European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia held a news conference this morning during which he said Google will need to offer further concessions to avoid antitrust fines. According to the NY Times, Almunia said that Google needs to "improve" its current proposal: "I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us months ago are not enough to overcome our concerns." Almunia has reportedly asked Google's Eric Schmidt "to present better proposals, or improved proposals.” As I've previously indicated, Almunia's position is strange, given my understanding that he was di [...]


Major Ad Networks Sign Anti-Piracy Best Practices Aimed To Starve Piracy Sites Of Ad Revenues

copyright-piracy-cd In a move to combat online piracy and copyright infringement, leading ad networks have agreed to a set of best practices set to cut-off ad revenues from sites hosting pirated media or promoting the sale of counterfeit drugs. The participating ad networks include Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, 24/7 Media, Adtegrity, AOL, Condé Nast and SpotXchange. Pressure has been mounting on Google, in particular, and the online ad network industry in general to combat online counterfeiting and copyright infringement. Brandon Bailey of SiliconBeat reports many critics are still not satisfied with the [...]


Google Slows Down Bay View Campus Construction

google-bayview-600px Construction of Bay View, the new campus that Google unveiled earlier this year, is being delayed temporarily. The San Jose Mercury News reported over the weekend that the delay could be as long as a year. The 1.1 million square-foot complex is located not far from Google's current headquarters, and original plans called for development of nine "bent rectangle" buildings, all of which would be connected by bridges. Google didn't confirm how long construction would be delayed, but a spokesperson gave this statement to the Mercury News: "We want to make our Bay View campus a terrifi [...]


The Microsoft Reorg Versus Google: Lots Of Engineering, No Ads, Social Or Search Execs

microsoft-google-logos Microsoft has reorganized itself to be "One Microsoft," with the company being organized by "function" rather than around products. How's that compare to one of Microsoft's chief competitors, Google, which did a reorg of its own two years ago? Microsoft is all about engineering, whereas Google is more product-focused, it seems. And unlike Microsoft, Google has top management positions to cover its ads and social efforts, plus "Knowledge," Google's fancy name for search. Let's take a look. For this comparison, I'm largely drawing off Microsoft's memo today and comparing that to Google's m [...]


YouTube Becomes Latest Google Target By State Attorneys General

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has been accusing Google of facilitating consumer access to illegal sales of prescription drugs and counterfeit goods and from profiting from related ads shown in its search results. Now, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt are setting their sights on Google's YouTube, claiming Google profits from ads served alongside videos promoting illegal activity. TheHill.com is reporting that the two state AGs sent a letter to Google lawyer Kent Walker asking how much the company has earned from the [...]


Google Book Scanning Class Action Likely To Disappear

google books It's probably safe to say that Google's entire business is built on the legal foundation of Fair Use. Fair Use is a copyright exception that allows certain parties to reproduce a copyrighted work without paying royalties to the owner. And, Fair Use may represent a complete defense for Google in its long-running court battle with the Authors Guild over its book scanning project. In a major procedural defeat for the Authors Guild, the US Second Circuit of Appeals today voided the class action status of the litigation. The appellate court said that lower court Judge Denny Chin (himself now a m [...]


Would Europe “Ban” Google Universal Search Results?

Google Europe legal As Google's critics and rivals in Europe become increasingly vocal and aggressive in their campaign against the company's proposed antitrust settlement, the European Commission (EC) has some egg on its face. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia negotiated the current settlement with Google over a period of months. The specific provisions, including the controversial "rival links" concept, were entirely known to him and colleagues when the proposal was released for "market testing" third-party reaction and comment. It was also entirely predictable that FairSearch.org and other anti [...]


Google Given Privacy Ultimatum By French: Fix It Or Face Fines

google-privacy-200 The French have given Google what amounts to a privacy ultimatum. The company now has three months to make changes or "fixes" to its privacy policy that satisfy French and broader European data protection laws. The immediate consequences for failure to do so could be fines of several million euros according to Bloomberg. Many nations in Europe have lined up behind the French who are taking the lead in trying to get Google to offer more transparency to users about what data are being collected and how those data are being used. European privacy rules are much more stringent than those in the U [...]


Studies Show Google Enhanced Campaigns Fuel AdWords CPC Rise

google-g-logo-2012 One of the first reactions many advertisers had to Google's enhanced campaigns announcement in February was that CPCs would rise -- more advertisers would enter mobile auctions, pushing mobile CPCs up, and tablet CPCs would rise as a result of being tethered to desktop bids. Early reports from Adobe and iProspect seem to show the higher CPC theory bearing out. Adobe found CPCs rose 6 percent across devices in the past three months. Based on last quarter's performance, Adobe now predicts Google CPCs will start rising for the first time in two years. iProspect also reported CPC in [...]


Europeans Take New Look At Google’s Android Licensing Practices

google-europe-featured The Financial Times is reporting that Google is now "facing an investigation by European authorities into allegations that it supported the leading Android smartphone platform and its mobile services by means of cut-price licensing and exclusivity deals." There isn't a formal investigation on this question yet. Rather, the European Commission is submitting a questionnaire to device makers and mobile carriers for their input. Google's rivals are undoubtedly behind these complaints to keep pressure on the European Commission, which is on the cusp of settling its antitrust (search-related) in [...]


UK Government Report: Google’s Tax Position “Deeply Unconvincing”

google-legal-law The Guardian reported yesterday that a UK Parliamentary Committee found, essentially, Google had improperly avoided paying taxes in the UK by routing sales through Ireland where corporate tax rates are considerably lower. It's unclear precisely what the immediate legal fallout will be; however the UK report recommends a more formal inquiry. Committee chair MP Margaret Hodge said that Google had "brazenly" sought to avoid taxes in the UK by channeling sales through its Irish subsidiary. However, the UK report determined, based on its investigation and information from "whistleblowers," tha [...]


Unboxing Google Engage

GoogleEngage-Edited I’ve got big plans for my agency. Apparently, so does Google. While the agency world’s demise has been the subject of quite a bit of opinion over the years, it seems Google is embracing the fact that advertisers often hire professional services firms to help them -- at least for now. Agency “certification” programs are nothing new in search, and the last time I wrote about them back in 2005, they were overwhelmingly engineered to cater to larger advertisers.  The names and target audiences of ambassador programs have changed over the years, but the goal of increasing stable rev [...]


Google’s “X Phone” Is Coming, So Are Nexus-Like Versions Of HTC One And Galaxy S4

Google Motorola Google's mobile phone division Motorola is desperate for a hit. At a price of $12.5 billion, the company was Google's largest acquisition ever. It has yet to generate any ROI for Mountain View. Motorola's patent portfolio, the reason most-often cited as the driver of the acquisition, has seen its value dramatically reduced by the Google-FTC antitrust settlement and consent decree. In essence, that bars Motorola from using its IP for anticompetitive purposes -- essentially as a sword rather than as a shield in patent litigation. Motorola has continued to see its global and US handset s [...]


Google Stands In For “The Emerald City” In The Internship Movie

Vaughn Wilson The Internship There's a scene near the climax of the film The Internship, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (opening June 7), where they and their team of Google summer interns try to sell a local pizza restaurant on Google advertising (presumably AdWords). Many of the different Google tools and services are paraded out (i.e., search, Google Maps, Google Trends/Insights), while veteran sales guy Vaughn tells the restaurant owner that he, too, was once afraid of change. The scene could be cut out of the move and used as "sales collateral" in Google's effort to bring small businesses into the AdWord [...]


EU-Google “Rival Links” Antitrust Settlement Provision Creates New Controversy

Google Europe legal The US Federal Trade Commission declined to address the alleged "search bias" (vertical search) claim against Google in its settlement with the company earlier this year. It's a highly problematic issue from a legal standpoint but it's the one Google's critics and rivals care most about. In short they would like to blunt or stop Google's ability to place its own content (e.g., Maps, Travel, Shopping) at or near the top of search results (Universal Search). Google's display of structured content at the top of search results is diverting or siphoning off "their" traffic, they argue. Europe [...]


Microsoft, Google To Build New Windows Phone YouTube App Together

microsoft-google-logos Microsoft and Google appear to have buried the hatchet over the YouTube app that's been available for Windows Phones, and say they're "working together" to get a new app out "in the coming weeks." The two companies issued a statement today, two days after the deadline that Google had given Microsoft to remove the previous app from the Windows Phone Store. Earlier this month, Google sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter because Microsoft's version of the YouTube app wasn't showing Google's ads. Google's letter asked Microsoft to remove the app by May 22nd, but today's statement says th [...]


More Antritrust Pain For Google: FTC To Probe Display Ads Biz

google-legal-law According to Bloomberg, Google is facing yet another antitrust headache at the hands of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency is fresh off a settlement earlier this year with Mountain View over its search market dominance. This time, the FTC will reportedly be probing the display side of Google's online advertising business. The Bloomberg report says that "The FTC is looking at whether Google is using its tools to force companies to bypass competing products and use other Google properties, including a marketplace for buying and selling Internet display ads, and features that [...]


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