×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Obama Anti-Trust Chief on Google the Monopoly Threat

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the it-has-to-be-said dept.

Google 364

CWmike writes "The blogosphere regularly excoriates Microsoft for being a monopoly, but Google may be in the cross-hairs of the nation's next anti-trust chief for monopolistic behavior, writes Preston Gralla. Last June, Christine A. Varney, President Obama's nominee to be the next antitrust chief, warned that Google already had a monopoly in online advertising. 'For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem,' Varney said at a June 19 panel discussion sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute, according to a Bloomberg report. The US economy will 'continually see a problem — potentially with Google' because it already 'has acquired a monopoly in Internet online advertising.' Varney has yet to be confirmed as antitrust chief, and she said all this before she was nominated. Still, it spells potentially bad news for Google. It may be time for the company to start adding to its legal staff."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

364 comments

Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922855)

Jimmy woke up groggy on a carpet floor. He wasn't sure what time or day it was. He just knew he was molested by 3 free software developers and a goat. Then his virginity was taken by a man named Stallman who fucked him with in the inch of his life while ranting about GNU. He felt like he belonged to them all ready. It was happening so fast. He felt something in his ass. It was a butt plug. He pulled it out and saw it was 8 inches long and 5 inch thick.

Jimmy vowed never to try Linux again.

Re:Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923109)

Wow, you really failed to be even remotely funny/ironic/sardonic/whatever didn't you? Is this really the best you could come up with? At least the "Taco is a nullo" one was kind of amusing in places, copy/paste job that it was. Yours is just sort of ...

dull.

You have committed the sin of being boring, and wasted our time with this pointless, meandering nonsense. Now go put your butt plug back in and stop bothering us Jimmy, or the next time I'll use the other eight inches on you.

First post! (2, Informative)

mahohmei (540475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922863)

First post!

Last I checked, Google isn't forcing vendors into signing Google-only contracts to bundle only Google software with new computers.

But... (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922889)

I didn't think a monopoly in and of itself was illegal.

Only if it is abused, no?

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923061)

Correct. A monopoly position is not illegal. Using it to punish competitors or as a means of compliance is.

Google should be watched for abuse of their monopoly power in advertising, but so far I don't think there is any existing evidence to show abuse.

We have yet another person obtaining a position of power after displaying evidence of prior bias, but that's just how politics work. Fortunately, Google has the resources to vigorously defend themselves against spurious charges of monopoly abuse. Unfortunately, Google has the resources to vigorously defend themselves against non-spurious charges of monopoly abuse.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923095)

The question being... how could you use a monopoly on advertising to keep other advertising companies from effectively advertising?

Re:But... (5, Interesting)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923197)

That's not the only way to look at it. Google could use their advertising clout to harm companies that rely on internet advertising in order to exert influence in that particular industry.

I'm not saying how likely it would be to occur, just that it's possible.

I don't see a huge likelihood of danger from Google based on their advertising monopoly. I do see potential dangers from a monoculture of reliance on Google's other services, much like the problems that have arisen from a Microsoft monoculture. Given that their power is derived from voluntary use of their (mostly) free products, antitrust law could be difficult to apply to their actions in many regards. If Google starts abusing their power, it will likely be a very unique case from a legal standpoint.

Re:But... (3, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923429)

Monoculture problems a anti-trust make, thank all that is good. Monoculture might be bad, but it's not illegal. And I do hope it stays that way. We don't need to legislate against EVERYTHING, you know.

A monopoly in advertising? (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923555)

Google should be watched for abuse of their monopoly power in advertising

If they are looking for a company that hods a monopoly in advertising, they should look somewhere else [clearchannel.com]

Re:First post! (1)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922925)

Its not being a monopoly that is illegal, it is abusing the monopoly position to remain in a monopoly through business practises that restrict the competitiveness of other businesses.

Yahoo and MS both have online advertising divisions, they just can't compete against adwords on googles own website, which while large, must not be the entire source of googles revenue on online adverts.

here we go again.. (1, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922865)

Well well...I guess Democrats take bribe money from MS as well.

Re:here we go again.. (1)

Dylnuge (1482201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923077)

Google has many competitors, Microsoft being a major one but certainly not the only one. I doubt there is any foul play going on. Keep in mind that Google is a company, and a big one at that. They have a lot of monopolistic advantages. Whether or not they abused them is in the eye of the beholder, but they certainly have a hold on many different parts of the tech industry.

Re:here we go again.. (2, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923211)

Google has many competitors, Microsoft being a major one but certainly not the only one. I doubt there is any foul play going on. Keep in mind that Google is a company, and a big one at that. They have a lot of monopolistic advantages. Whether or not they abused them is in the eye of the beholder, but they certainly have a hold on many different parts of the tech industry.

I'm not doubting that, I'm just commenting on Varney's comment regarding the issue. The way she addressed the issue (For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem...) suggests to me that someone at Microsoft put her up to it. Either that, or she is one of the most clueless people the Obama administration has to offer.

Re:here we go again.. (2, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923381)

I'm not doubting that, I'm just commenting on Varney's comment regarding the issue. The way she addressed the issue (For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem...) suggests to me that someone at Microsoft put her up to it.

Or that maybe, just maybe, she's an independent thinker who believes (perhaps wrongly) Microsoft isn't a problem.

But the conspiracy theory is ever so much more exciting, isn't it?

Re:here we go again.. (3, Insightful)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923535)

Or that maybe, just maybe, she's an independent thinker who believes (perhaps wrongly) Microsoft isn't a problem.

GP already said "Either that, or she is one of the most clueless people the Obama administration has to offer."

Cluelessness and wrongly believing things are kinda the same thing here...

Re:here we go again.. (2, Insightful)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923569)

I'm not doubting that, I'm just commenting on Varney's comment regarding the issue. The way she addressed the issue (For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem...) suggests to me that someone at Microsoft put her up to it. Either that, or she is one of the most clueless people the Obama administration has to offer.

Bear in mind, now, that Varney was involved in the US vs. MS case some years ago - as a Netscape lawyer. Although she's worked with Microsoft under more positive circumstances (in the context of her pushing for standards in online privacy), I have trouble seeing her as an MS puppet.

I'm not saying she's perfect, but I think she's one of the good guys.

And... honestly, I agree with her, just a little. Microsoft has become a bloated, nearly ineffective, and arrogant bureaucracy. They may still play dirty, and may still try to strongarm, but their leverage is dwindling as they accumulate resentment from consumers and lose market share.

I'm not saying they're irrelevant; that's obviously not the case. They bear watching, and I sincerely hope Varney isn't as dismissive of them as her quote implies. I think she isn't; she isn't stupid.

Google, on the other hand, is still (usually) playing nice, but has gained incredible influence; the company's name is a household word (literally; the verb "google" is in Merriam-Webster). Any company with that much power bears close scrutiny: a culture shift or a few poor decisions could easily lead to misuse of their dominance.

Re:here we go again.. (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923301)

How about they try this exercise: Give Microsoft the advertising business and give Google the operating system business.

Everybody would win. Ballmer would finally have his petty revenge and stick his fingers in Google's pie, and we'll get an operating system with better interoperability and less(if any) DRM. I'd rather Google use their resources and their 20% time allowance to pet-projects to make a better operating system -- not to slap ads on my screen.

Advertising is generally evil and, in my opinion, Microsoft are much better than Google at being evil.

Re:here we go again.. (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923355)

And exactly how did they get that hold? Cuban derided anyone who might want to buy Youtube.com. Google made it work. Google has taken billions of pictures of the planet and shared them with everyone. Google 'mashups' are plentiful and some incredibly useful. Despite Google's very large footprint on the Internet and how it is used, what harm has come from their activities? What good?

Until someone can show that Google has harmed competition with their advantages, there is nothing to argue about. They got that hold by being useful and free (mostly) and helpful. Google has quite literally begun setting the standards for others to follow. That they did not follow quickly enough is not Google's fault.

We, the consumers, share some of the guilt. We should have demanded of our service and content providers that they do what Google has. Wait a minute, scratch that. Our service and content providers should have listened... never mind.

Re:here we go again.. (5, Interesting)

yog (19073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923233)

Who forces people to click on Google.com when they want to do a search? Last I checked, Internet Explorer which comes on every Windows computer defaults to MSN search until you specifically set it otherwise.

And who is losing money because of Google's size? Certainly not the consumer, who has benefited tremendously from Google's innovations, which are free.

Once upon a time, Yahoo Email charged an annual fee for POP3 and anything larger than a few megabytes of storage. Then Google came along and offered a free email with POP3 and huge storage and changed the whole game. Yahoo (and Hotmail) was forced to counter with added storage and reduced/eliminated fees. That's not monopolism, it's innovation!

I'm not scared by some dumb bureaucrat like Christina Varney. What's frightening is the apparent lack of appreciation by the Obama Administration for capitalism as a force for economic growth.

With a presidency that is socialist-leaning and big-government-oriented, it seems we are backsliding into a kind of pre-Reagan era where business is viewed as a necessary evil, the best and brightest should work for the Feds or community organizations, and we shouldn't even try to compete with our ultra-capitalistic competitors in East Asia and elsewhere.

Re:here we go again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923589)

Are you suggestin that Microsoft should have permit to keep Internet Explorer bundled with the NT operating system, because it use MSN search and so on brings competition to Internet Advertising?

In same math, Microsoft should have permit to bundle Microsoft Office and many other softwares witht the NT operating system because most of the distributions of Linux Operating System bundles them as well?

If Microsoft is not anymore a "problem", then why would Google be? Ah... I get it. Microsoft is posses the dominant market position on the Operating System markets on the world with it's NT operating system (XP, Vista, 7) and it is more important for U.S economy so we need to support Microsoft but not Google.... right?

Re:here we go again.. (2, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923267)

Perhaps, but it's just as likely that Google isn't playing like they want them to, which may include not offering (the party) a bribe, which politicians have become a custom to (in all parties)

Monopoly on online advertising is the least of it (3, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922875)

Google's ability to combine search data from maps, Google Earth, Web Search, Google News Alerts, etc, and mine it is a much bigger problem.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922971)

If by "least of it" you mean "completely non-existent" than I agree with your conclusion, although your premise is a load of crap.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922979)

Google's ability to combine search data from maps, Google Earth, Web Search, Google News Alerts, etc, and mine it is a much bigger problem.

Why? Because they've built a better mousetrap, and now people want to use it?

Google isn't even close to being a monopoly. I'm not a slobbering fanboy of Google the way some other people are, but I also fail to see a business boogeyman behind every corner as some people do. Some people's concept of "anti-trust" would be more correctly called "anti-success"... this notion that a company that's been very successful must have cheated or done something nefarious to get that way.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (5, Interesting)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923089)

Agreed. Sure Google is dominating the online advertising market, but maybe it's largely because their ads are not overtly obtrusive and are often relevant. I consciously refuse to click on ads I find annoying, but I've actually used Google ads to find obscure products that I am looking to buy.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (-1, Flamebait)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923187)

By your logic Microsoft is not a monopoly either. They just had a success by producing an operating system that a large portion of the world uses. But now they are the big bad wolf. Google did it better then the other guys they marketed they produced the software people wanted at the right time. Microsoft did the same thing in the 80's and 90's.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (2, Insightful)

MarsDaleSA (1473943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923419)

By your logic, cherry picking a timeline to suit an argument is ok. Microsoft may have grown to a point - based on their abilities and success, but then they started abusing their monopoly to maintain/expand upon it.

As a brief example, I don't see Google removing competitors from search results nor making gmail non-compliant with other hosts. Sorry, but no.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (5, Informative)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923525)

Google's search market share: 23.7% [idc.com]
Google's online ads market share: as 59.2% [cnet.com]
Microsoft Window's market share:89.62% [tgdaily.com]

By your logic Microsoft is not a monopoly either.

I don't know what the GP's threshold for monopoly status is, but it's apparent he thinks it's more than 59% market share. You are the one with faulty logic to then reason that because he doesn't think 59% is enough that he must not think 89% is enough.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (5, Informative)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923561)

And I have faulty logic because I got those mixed up. 23.7% is their online ad market share. 59.2% is their search share.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (2, Insightful)

overzero (1358049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923531)

Many people would disagree with your assessment of Microsoft making a better product than the other guys at any point in history, even if you weren't wildly extrapolating from DesScorp's statement.

The real problem is that an operating system locks you into using it far more than anything Google's done so far--a problem which isn't Microsoft-specific. At this point, it'd be far easier for me to move cross-country than change my OS. Once a lot of people are in a similar position and have major incentives to use the same OS as everyone else, it's difficult NOT to be an abusive monopoly.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (1, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923443)

Why? Because they've built a better mousetrap, and now people want to use it?

No, people are getting trapped IN it.

Google isn't even close to being a monopoly.

In the US & Canada for search (perhaps Europe too?), yes it is close. Close enough that online businesses, site profitability, etc, etc, live and die in large part based on their google page ranks.

I'm not a slobbering fanboy of Google the way some other people are, but I also fail to see a business boogeyman behind every corner as some people do.

Google is a serious threat to privacy, and has easily reached the critical mass that gives it monopoly power.

Some people's concept of "anti-trust" would be more correctly called "anti-success"

Enough success to the point that they achieve monopoly power is a reason for anti-trust.

this notion that a company that's been very successful must have cheated or done something nefarious to get that way.

Say what now? Nobody is accusing google of necessarily having done something nefarious or of cheating to get where they are, but the point remains that they are in fact where they are. They have reached a level of success, size, and influence now in some markets that normal market forces no longer really apply to them. As such, they now need to be watched closely. That is all.

Google is a big threat now, whether they abuse it or not, they need to be watched. Microsoft is sill big, but they are off their peak, and while they should be watched they are less of a threat these days. Personally I applaud the administrations frank recognition of that.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (4, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923335)

Dude, companies like Experian and Acxiom have been mining your every credit card and club card purchase, among many other things (they can even tell you if a given person's current vehicle lease is about to expire), for *years*. If you're really worried about Google, I hate to break it to you, but you're a little late to the game.

Re:Monopoly on online advertising is the least of (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923447)

companies like Experian and Acxiom have been mining your every credit card and club card purchase, among many other things (they can even tell you if a given person's current vehicle lease is about to expire), for *years*. True, but they don't know which news stories I am monitoring thru Google News Alerts, or what terms I am searching on, or which address I am asking directions for, nor can they combine that information. Google's ability to aggregate data is truly staggering.

Why is she allowed to serve? (1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922895)

Basically, you have some gung-ho lefty making a bunch of proclamations, admitting a bias against another company, and she's going to be in a position of power in government? Oh wait, I forgot, this is change we can believe in, just another form of chicago cronyism... or really, detroit, judging by the way this administration is driving the country into the ground.

Re:Why is she allowed to serve? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922949)

"Basically, you have some gung-ho lefty making a bunch of proclamations, admitting a bias against another company, and she's going to be in a position of power in government? Oh wait, I forgot, this is change we can believe in, just another form of chicago cronyism... or really, detroit, judging by the way this administration is driving the country into the ground."

Well, at least she's not race baiting like Eric Holder [go.com] , you remember, the guy that was also for limiting free speech on the internet?

Re:Why is she allowed to serve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923027)

Do you think the average consumer who uses anything Google comprehends that Google reads their e-mails (gmail accounts) links that data to all of their searches and links everything to their web surfing (since they run the advertising on almost any web you visit), and linking that data with other apps (Google Maps). Let's not even mention using Android and a google based phone that ties that in with even more user tracking.

The government isn't even close to being big brother versus Google. They know who you are, first name, last name, address, city, state, they know almost every web page you visit, anything you are interested in and link that all together and sell that information. Microsoft got nailed to the wall for trying to do the same thing 15 years ago and since Google notifies you that they'll do this in the middle of a 30 page User Agreement that no one reads they are allowed to do it. If the Google / Yahoo ad merger happened, Google was to own about 90% of the advertising out there (I think it's around 75% now) - so ya Monopoly and a complete invasion of privacy.

You can blame the average consumer for giving it up, but I don't believe most consumers know how much information they give when using Google products/services.

Re:Why is she allowed to serve? (0, Flamebait)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923141)

admitting a bias against another company

How is saying that she's more concerned with Google than with Microsoft in terms of future potential for abuse of monopoly power a sign of "bias"? Having an opinion is bias now, I guess?

or really, detroit, judging by the way this administration is driving the country into the ground.

Ah... I see, it's "everyone is like me" syndrome.

She's expressing an opinion, that's not allowed? (2, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923159)

Wait a minute, are you saying that anti-trust lawyers that might, at some point in the future, end up working for the FTC should refuse to express an opinion of any kind about any company that may or may not be the subject of future regulatory action in a job they do not yet have and may never have? (Yes, that is a long sentence.)

You know, this kind of attitude might be something of a problem when it comes to Supreme Court Justices. Since we kind of expect Justices to have actually written legal papers expressing opinions of various kinds (as lawyers, and maybe judges), written opinions, and represented clients, at some point before they join the Supreme Court.

People are allowed to have, (and express in a public forum), opinions before they are government employees. Certainly those views can be brought up and considered during confirmation hearings, but having and expressing an opinion does not disqualify somebody from appointment to an executive branch position.

Indeed, since they are appointed positions, all but the most extreme people completely unfit for office are supposed to be confirmed, no matter which side of the political spectrum they are on.

SirWired

Re:Why is she allowed to serve? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923295)

it's pathetic that this kind of sappy biased comment is what qualifies for real right wing thinking these days. She's an antitrust attorney doing her job. Just because Bush administration refused to enforce the laws on the books doesn't make real people who do their jobs into 'gung-ho lefties'.

anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922915)

so what are google's anti-competitive practices?

Re:anti-competitive (-1, Troll)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923221)

Google's anti-competitive practice is the most powerful one: doing a great job. This effectively overcomes all competition. Destroying all greatness in the USA is Obama's goal.

Re:anti-competitive (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923527)

Unfortunately this assumes that all businesses that are successful are doing a great job, and ignores things like Enron, Microsoft, Halliburton, MCI WorldCom... oh, they're just a little fraudulent/anticompetitive, that doesn't mean they're not great businesses! (This seems to be the mindset of every conservative: that big business can do no wrong, which is simply not true)

Your goal seems to be to shoot down anything Obama does because your candidate, who is still very likely to have supported and continued on with all the decisions our former president made, was not elected.

This makes you a sore loser, and a dickhole to boot.

Foolish; absolutely foolish. (3, Informative)

Azh Nazg (826118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922919)

Christine seems to think that Google is a monopoly in the world of online advertising -- that much, I find no fault with. However, thinking that they need antitrust actions seems just foolish to me. Sure, they may be a monopoly, but they have yet to actually abuse this monopoly. Since the purpose of antitrust laws is to avert the abuse of monopolies, surely it would be a far better use of the court's time to go after those who continue to abuse their monopolies, such as Microsoft and cable and phone companies?

Re:Foolish; absolutely foolish. (2, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923145)

Wouldn't it be funny, though, if Google pre-empted this whole conversation by spinning off their advertising business into its own separate company, and then allowing other companies (i.e. MS and Yahoo) to bid on providing ads for the ad space on Google's site.

They could bill the Adsense for resources using the model that they have in the AppEngine service, and using historical Adsense revenue information, set a standard for how much they should be receiving from other ad systems.

Other ad vendors should be careful what they ask for. It may be that, with the volume of activity on Google's pages, they end up making Google much, much richer.

Re:Foolish; absolutely foolish. (5, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923311)

However, thinking that they need antitrust actions seems just foolish to me. Sure, they may be a monopoly, but they have yet to actually abuse this monopoly.

Um yeah, but I don't see where she actually said that anti-trust is required now.

BTW, here's a link to the original bloomberg article [bloomberg.com] that this blog entry quotes from.

She says she thinks Google acquired their monopoly legally, but is concerned about what happens when cloud computing takes off. Okay, she uses an unqualified future tense when she says "there will be companies that will begin to allege that Google is discriminating", but that still sounds more like a prediction to me than a promise of action. If that happens, anti-trust investigation may in fact be warranted, and I see no indication that she's saying she would pursue anti-trust against Google anyway if it doesn't.

Seriously, what's the issue with having an anti-trust chief who is aware of and intends to keep an eye on potential future problems? If regulators had been keeping a closer eye on Microsoft, then maybe U.S. vs Microsoft would have happened early enough to actually make a difference.

I'm not concerned. (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922921)

MS proved you can buy your way out of these problems. Given Google's wealth, I doubt she'll pass muster with her nomination process.

Obama, determined to destroy any company. (0, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922923)

This is democratic politics in a nutshell

a. regulate in the public interest
b. if a company is profitable than it is criminal, go to step a.
c. if a company is unprofitable, nationalize it, and stuff it with your buddies, return to step a.

Re:Obama, determined to destroy any company. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923135)

Whereas Republicans know how to milk a good racket for campaign funds.

Re:Obama, determined to destroy any company. (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923269)

Which is why they outspent the Democrats in the recent election.

Oh, wait, the Republicans were the ones who kept their pledge to use only public financing. It was the Democrats who broke their word as soon as they realized that they could buy the election if they refused government funds. Never mind!

public financing (2, Interesting)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923421)

Some might say that Obama's campaign was publicly financed to a larger degree than any in recent memory. They got so many more contributions from individuals -- what's that if not publicly financed in spirit?

Re:public financing (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923499)

The point is that both candidates agreed to abide by Federal Campaign Financing rules. Then, BO, or somebody on his staff realized how much more they could get from rich liberals if they broke their promise, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Re:Obama, determined to destroy any company. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923461)

hey sphincter licker, i already know what's wrong with the republicans/neocons.

we're talking about democrats. comprende joto? chupa me anaconda, cabron.

Re:Obama, determined to destroy any company. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923241)

Or rather:

a) Apply anti-trust laws where they should be
b) Stop abusive market practices
c) Allow a fair playing field for capitalism to run

Oh, wait, outright biased the other way? Shove your BS back up your ass.

That's scary (3, Informative)

javelinco (652113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922935)

Does she not know what a monopoly [wikipedia.org] is? Or is she ignorant about online advertising?

The existence of a very high market share does not always mean consumers are paying excessive prices since the threat of new entrants to the market can restrain a high-market-share firm's price increases. Competition law does not make merely having a monopoly illegal, but rather abusing the power a monopoly may confer, for instance through exclusionary practices.

First it is necessary to determine whether a firm is dominant, or whether it behaves "to an appreciable extent independently of its competitors, customers and ultimately of its consumer."[7] As with collusive conduct, market shares are determined with reference to the particular market in which the firm and product in question is sold.

There almost no barrier to entry to advertising on the internet - the costs are negligible. And I've yet to hear how Google is using its leverage to stifle competition and/or gouge its customers. Maybe it IS, but I've yet to hear anything about it...

Re:That's scary (1)

javelinco (652113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922985)

More on Antitrust requirements (go Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] )

A distinction between single-firm and multi-firm conduct is fundamental to the structure of U.S. antitrust law, which, as noted antitrust scholar Phillip Areeda has pointed out, "contains a 'basic distinction between concerted and independent action.'"[2] Multi-firm conduct tends to be seen as more likely than single-firm conduct to have an unambiguously negative effect and "is judged more sternly."[3] European competition law also includes a fundamental distinction between single-firm and multi-firm conduct, but a different analytical structure is applied. In U.S. antitrust law, the Sherman Act addresses single-firm conduct by providing a remedy against "[e]very person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize...any part of the trade or commerce among the several States."[4] This prohibition does not condemn monopoly per se but only monopoly that has been acquired or maintained through prohibited conduct: Most businessmen don't like their competitors, or for that matter competition. They want to make as much money as possible and getting a monopoly is one way of making a lot of money. That is fine, however, so long as they do not use methods calculated to make consumers worse off in the long run.[5]

With regard to multi-firm conduct, the Sherman Act addresses this by prohibiting "[e]very contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce."[6] Conduct falls within the scope of this prohibition only if some form of agreement or concerted action can be proven.

In considering multi-firm conduct, another distinction is also fundamental: the distinction between conduct that is deemed anticompetitive per se and conduct that may be found to be anticompetitive after a reasoned analysis. There does not appear to be a precedent for per se condemnation of single-firm conduct. Monopoly power alone, without some act of wrongful exclusion or other legally cognizable anticompetitive conduct, is not prohibited. To the contrary, as the respected jurist Learned Hand noted, "[t]he successful competitor, having been urged to compete, must not be turned on when he wins."[7] U.S. antitrust law thus does not attack monopoly power obtained through "superior skill, foresight and industry".[8]

While the prohibition against multi-firm anticompetitive goes against agreements "in restraint of trade", it is not enough to show that an agreement in some technical way restrains trade. Under U.S. law, at least, the scope of the prohibition is limited to those agreements where the restraint of trade is unreasonable:

Every agreement concerning trade, every regulation of trade, restrains. To bind, to restrain, is of their very essence. The true test of legality is whether the restraint imposed is such as merely regulates and perhaps thereby promotes competition or whether it is such as may suppress or even destroy competition.[9]

One such obviously anticompetitive conduct as overt price fixing, for example, is placed into this per se category of conduct so clearly detrimental to competition that detailed analysis is unnecessary. Otherwise, antitrust plaintiffs are required to demonstrate, by "the facts peculiar to the business to which the restraint is applied", the nature of the challenged conduct and why it is harmful to competition.[10]

This doesn't pass the smell test, much less the legal one, as far as I can tell.

Re:That's scary (3, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923023)

And yet, this is the woman who says Microsoft is "so last century". It's difficult to think of a market harder to enter than the desktop OS market, or the office productivity suite market.

Re:That's scary (0, Troll)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923321)

But in Libertarianworld all the competitors would have to do would be to make a better product and suddenly everyone would abandon the multi-billion dollar investment they have in Windows and Office and live happily ever after.

Re:That's scary (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923469)

Does she not know what a monopoly is? And I've yet to hear how Google is using its leverage to stifle competition and/or gouge its customers.

Yes she knows what a damn monopoly is. She knows that a monopoly is not in and of itself illegal. She said she thinks Google has a monopoly in online advertising, and that they acquired it legally. She said nothing that indicates she thinks Google is abusing that monopoly today.

What she is concerned about is cloud computing -- i.e. net apps like Google Docs -- and that Google could make interoperating with their software difficult just like Microsoft has/is. That is in fact a legitimate concern. If it happens, I'd like for a regulator to step in sooner than the government did with Microsoft, and if it doesn't, I don't see anything that says she'll pursue anti-trust against Google just because.

I'm really not getting what everyone is getting their panties in a twist over.

Monopoly? (2, Insightful)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922945)

I thought that having a monopoly was legal, but that protecting it via illegal means was not. What, exactly, has Google done to illegally protect the alleged monopoly?

Also, it's hard to see how they create a barrier to entry in the market. Any idiot can set up an online advertising agency and start making deals (and many idiots have done precisely that).

Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

arootbeer (808234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922951)

Forgive me, but I completely fail to see how Google could be considered a monopoly. They offer services that are supported by their advertising revenue.

They collect information about you, yes - we all know this may be evil.

But anti-competitive? AFAIK, their only source of revenue is their advertising business. Are they under-selling ad pricing? My gut feeling is that their services exposure is such that people would probably pay some premium to advertise with Google versus other sites.

Unless my understanding is completely off-base, it almost sounds like you can become a monopoly to this person simply by being better at what you do.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923533)

Forgive me, but I completely fail to see how Google could be considered a monopoly. They offer services that are supported by their advertising revenue.

Actually, their biggest service is advertising (i.e. Google-based ads on websites which are not Google) and since their purchase of Doubleclick (remember them, the guys whose entire business was advertising-as-service?) they have 70% of the market and could probably be called a monopoly.

But anti-competitive?

She did not say they are anti-competitive... yet. She fears they may be in the future, and seriously we here at /. have been worried about that with things like Google Apps (which seems like what concerns her too) for quite some time.

Unless my understanding is completely off-base, it almost sounds like you can become a monopoly to this person simply by being better at what you do.

All of us here at /. who cut our teeth with anti-trust law on the Microsoft case are well aware that a monopoly is not in and of itself illegal, but rather that abuses of monopoly power are illegal.

Why is it so hard to conceive that a nominee for anti-trust chief would also understand this, and use her terminology appropriately?

Because you didn't fix it last century! (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922963)

For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem.

I don't know about you, but my father uses Windows. My mother uses Windows, except for an old machine I've set up for her music library on Linux. My brother uses Windows. His friends all use Windows. Most of my friends use Windows, except the few who have Macs -- and those run Windows in a VM.

Even I use Windows -- VM or dual boot.

I've finally reached a point in my life where I don't have to touch Windows more than once a week, unless I want to play a game. And yet, I still can't design web apps the way I want -- I still have to either force everyone to download Firefox, or spend around 10% extra development time supporting Internet Explorer. (And I can't develop IE-only, or I don't have Firebug.)

If you don't see Microsoft as a problem, you aren't looking. If you see them as "so last century", it's because you let them get away with it last century!

I'm not going to defend Google, but that statement is dangerous thinking. Just because everyone forgot about the problem doesn't mean it's gone.

Re:Because you didn't fix it last century! (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923059)

The problem may not be gone, but I think it's going away. Really, what do you think a judge can do about it anyway? What's done is done.

Re:Because you didn't fix it last century! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923151)

Really, what do you think a judge can do about it anyway?

Acknowledge it, maybe? Instead of brushing it aside and attacking their competitor, showing clear favoritism?

What's done is done.

In the case of bundling IE vs Netscape, yes. Does that mean they can't still be prosecuted for their many (broken MS Java), many (per-unit licensing vs per-Windows-unit for OEMs), many (OpenXML and ISO) predatory business practices?

Re:Because you didn't fix it last century! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923319)

If you don't see Microsoft as a problem, you aren't looking.

I agree-- but the problem isn't just who has what market share. I mean, I don't know about all the legalities of anti-trust laws, but it seems to me that even if Google had 100% control of internet ads and Microsoft had 70% control of the desktop market, Microsoft may still be a bigger problem.

Because the issue isn't who has more market share, but rather why they have that market share and what they're doing with that market share. Google isn't particularly trying to create vendor lock-in, at least not as far as I can tell. They aren't actively trying to run competitors out of the market. The reason they have so much control over the Internet is mostly because they do a really good job at it.

For example, it doesn't seem to me that people use Gmail because they use Google Search, or that people would have any particular difficulty using Live Search for their web searches and Gmail for their email. There's not much abuse to speak of, at least not in anything I've heard about.

Microsoft, is a different issue. Microsoft uses licensing terms with various hardware vendors to discourage use of other operating systems. They use MS Office to lock people into Windows. They influence standards bodies to sell MS Office. They make their XBox work better with Windows. They try to push WMA as the standard media type while failing to provide support to other platforms. I could go on, but that's just some recent stuff off the top of my head.

So really I don't know-- maybe Google is a problem? But it doesn't seem to be anywhere near the biggest problems in terms of monopolization. What about having a couple of media companies owning almost all the newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations in the entire country? What about Verizon controlling half the Internet? And what about Microsoft's repeated abuses?

Re:Because you didn't fix it last century! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923459)

Google is a problem, but not nearly as much.

You do get one account for all Google services.

Apps do work better with GMail. Their calendar and mail, in particular, are somewhat more tightly integrated than you might want -- and invitations to a calendar event pretty much only work with a Google account, even if the recipient doesn't use Google Calendar.

I'm sure I could find other things if I tried. Some of these would be hard to do in a more open fashion. All of them do, in subtle ways, suggest that you use more Google services.

And there are the privacy issues, but that's separate from the monopoly issues.

I agree, though, Google is not a huge problem. For all the control they appear to have, there's still quite a lot of opportunity to just not use them. Even if you absolutely need that YouTube video, you can always kill tracking cookies.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is nearly impossible to avoid.

monopoly isn't a problem... (4, Insightful)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922983)

... abusing your monopoly is. I read the article hoping to see some indication of how Google is keeping other competitors down or acting against the public good; didn't find it. My conclusion: not yet an issue.

Monopolies are not really a problem... (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922991)

...it's when companies start abusing their monopoly that watchdogs should (potentially) step in.

Microsoft has had a few clear cases where it abused its monopoly. Google? I am not so sure, though of course any monopoly bears keeping a close eye on.

Re:Monopolies are not really a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923203)

Huh? Just because they are not illegal does not mean that are not a problem. A market which is split between many players is a far better situation that one company ruling everything.

When Google Goes Out of Business : +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922997)

what happens to all the "Google Code"?

Yours In Socialism,
Kilgore Trout [youtube.com]

Assuming they're a monopoly for a moment... (2, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923003)

Assuming they're a monopoly for online search advertising, in what way are they either abusive, or even able to abuse their monopoly status? With Microsoft, the monopoly is/was harmful to the marketplace of ideas because they wrestled to own and exploit shared standards, used bundling agreements and legal manipulation to hinder competition, and so on.

Even assuming Google could be considered a relative monopoly, if they were to use most of the problematic parts of that monopoly status, another company could just swoop in to replace them. Their power lies in their perceived results and goodwill with their large user base, rather than just being the only choice for most people.

I'm not normally a libertarian philosopher, but it seems to me this is one of the truest cases where the marketplace really can sort things out almost completely.

Ryan Fenton

The Google Octopus (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923009)

Google for some reason reminds me of an Octopus, due to all the stuff they're getting involved in. It's enough to concern me, but so far not enough to convince me that any kind of intervention is required. I do, however, wish we'd stop thinking they do no evil [sethf.com] simply because it's their motto.

Nyeah... Told you so... (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923025)

It's been pretty obvious to the more slug-like of us (intelligence wise) that Google is the new Microsoft. Microsoft was the new IBM. IBM was the new Standard Oil.

Nothing changes is business or human nature.

By the way, I came up with a new Pithy Saying(TM) today. Feel free to call it Turgid's Law:

Sorry, I forgot what it was.

fanboy (3, Insightful)

PetriBORG (518266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923045)

Its hard to not sound like a fan boy of google, but I'm currently not understanding why google would be considered as a monopoly, but if I was to play devil's advocate here I might argue the following:

  • Buying DoubleClick giving google some 70% of the market.
  • Attempting to buy into Yahoo to block MS (anti-competitive?).
  • Preference of search orders for choice sites (wiki).
  • Mozilla support / Firefox integration.
  • Limited external api to services.

I don't agree with these, but some could argue (if you really didn't like google anyway).

Excorinates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923051)

That word made me chuckle and remember a line from Family Guy. For your enjoyment:

Brian Griffin: Ah... Sorry Doc. I don't usually let Peter talk me into this kinda stuff.

Lady: Wait a minute... Brian you have a pre-existing relationship with this degenerate?

Peter Griffin: A degenerate am I? Well you, are a vestiggio! See? I can make up words too sister!

Ehhh, who cares (3, Insightful)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923103)

I associate a monopoly with crappy service/no communication with customers, overpriced products and a lack of innovation or change. So I'm finding Google's version of a monopoly quite refreshing.

WTF (1)

webax (1034218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923113)

"Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem"

2009, already almost a decade of blatant monopoly abuse by Microsoft in the new century, and she comes out with a statement like this?

Wow, words can't describe what wonders she can perform as antitrust chief. Yes She Can.

Intel and Cisco (4, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923173)

Having a monopoly (in legal terms) is not, as many have pointed out, illegal, but it does constrain your behavior somewhat, and it does mean that the Justice Dept is probably going to want to keep an eye on you. I don't see anything in TFA suggesting that Google is going to be prosecuted--merely that they're going to be scrutinized, and frankly I think that's a good thing. I'm more worried about the suggestion that Microsoft is no longer a problem.

Intel and Cisco have both also been judged to have monopolies in their respective fields, but unlike Microsoft, they've (mostly) played by the rules, and haven't ended up in serious trouble. Doesn't mean the Justice Dept won't continue to keep an eye on them, though. I have no problem with Google being lumped in with Intel and Cisco. On the other hand, I don't want them lumped in with Microsoft until someone finds evidence of similar anti-competitive behavior. On the gripping hand, if evidence of anti-competitive behavior is found, I want them prosecuted, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that day.

Google is not an MS type monopoly (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923185)

Google dominates some spaces, that is certain. But what makes them different from say MS, or many other companies is that they don't leverage one product to "help" another. For instance Google Chat/Video- open standards. No Google services require Chrome, or are dumbed down like MS often does with competing browsers. Heck even most of Google's apps are multi-platform. Now I'm not all pro-Google, I think they are big enough they should be watched, carefully, but so far I think they are doing a good job of not illigal leveraging one biz segment to prop up another.

Heh, I could see Google going for the IBM strategy (2, Informative)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923201)

Microsoft was anti-trust defense for losers. If the original judge was not such a completely bone-headed moron, MS would have lost, and lost badly. Gates made a complete fool of himself on tape, Boises (sp?) walked all over their lawyers, and the judge seemed to enjoy them twisting in the wind. The only thing that saved them was a change in administrations.

IBM, when accused of anti-trust, they built an in-house team larger than most law firms, and then dragged out the case so long, the judge in charge of the proceedings literally died before the case could be concluded.

SirWired

From and advertisers perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923247)

There is a whole galaxy of online ad networks. When you create ads you get this giant spreadsheet of the different vendors who will be serving up the ads and what the tech specs of the ads must be. Then you have to either make one ad that fits in the least common denominator of specs or n ads that meet the specs of each one.

If you've ever had to unroll the 'ninja scroll' and do 2 weeks of production on these things, the idea that any one ad network holds a monopoly becomes high comedy.

Rob peter to pay paul (1)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923257)

perhap's Ubama should take some of google code and advertising revenue and give them to yahoo and that other search engine whatever it's called because it's not fair that google win's, some one call the whaambulance.

that's what the dumb fuck's morgadge bailout amounts to.

Cloud Computing (3, Insightful)

mshannon78660 (1030880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923259)

It was a little tough to glean from TFA (let alone TFS), but what she actually seems to be saying is that Google is positioning itself to acquire the same type of monopoly on cloud computing that MS has in the OS space. Seems like a valid concern, and as long as all she's arguing for is increased scrutiny as enterprises move more and more to cloud computing, I can't really see an issue with it. It also explains the comment about MS being "so last century" - as companies move to cloud computing (assuming they really do), the OS should become less important.

Wait, what? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923285)

How are Microsoft "so last century"?

Not only are they still a monopoly by a huge factor (what, 90% of the desktop market give or take, 75% of the browser market, some other huge percent of the office suite market?), they're actually still embroiled in anti-trust suits as we speak both in the US and EU. And despite releasing a shoddy last line of products and being on the receiving end of several anti-trust verdicts already, the monopoly shows no sign of going south anytime soon.

Google, on the other hand, only has a monopoly on the (generally low/non-profit) search engine market and the online advertising market (which is near enough impossible to lock people in to, and pretty tricky to abuse). They've as yet shown little anti-competitive behaviour, not been called up on any anti-trust issues, and their brand power has shown to be far from almighty (demonstrated by the lackluster performance of the G1).

I mean I'm not saying Google won't turn out to be the next big evil, but to say that they're the the big problem that needs tackling and that Microsoft isn't an issue, that just makes absolutely no sense.

bleah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923299)

Wait...what?

Nearly every computer sold comes with some form of Microsoft tax, forcing users to pay for software (XP) that they already have several licenses for, or even worse, pay for software (Vista) that they don't even want just so they can downgrade it to what they *do* want (XP). This is only possible because Microsoft uses their monopoly power to force the PC distributors to bundle what Microsoft wants (Vista) and not what users want (XP).

Meanwhile, Google... sells advertising space on search results? OOOOoooohh, what a HUGE PROBLEM FOR GUVBINT this is.

new word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923367)

Obamonopoly - half monopoly, half not, but everyone likes 'em

Not really the same thing... (1)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923375)

From TFA:

As in the Microsoft case, "there will be companies that will begin to allege that Google is discriminating" against them by "not allowing their products to interoperate with Google's products."

Kind of a long shot here. Google's products aren't bundled with anything, aren't hardwired into anyone's machine, and for the most part come at no cost to the end-user. People use Google's search engine because...well, it works better than other search engines. Its advertising "monopoly" (is it really?) is in part a side effect of its enormous popularity.

Also, not "allowing their products to interoperate with other products?" This always sort of befuddled me, even in Microsoft's case. If I have a really popular piece of software, am I legally required to tailor it to work with other market products? Including products that may not exist yet? Alleging that another company's products don't "interoperate" with yours as the basis for seeking some compensation seems oddly analogous to patent trolling to me...

Google's monopoly threat (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923397)

The first thing to consider is is Google a monopoly?
Both the Computerworld [computerworld.com] article and Bloomberg's [bloomberg.com] mention Google's online advertizing but neither says that both Microsoft and Yahoo! also has online advertizing. According to CNN [cnn.com] Google's market share in online advertising is 75%, MS's is 5%, and Yahoo's is 20%.

Next they both talk about Google being in cloud computing, however they don't say Google faces competition there too, from Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, and other businesses.

The third to consider, actually it should be the first, is is being a monopoly illegal? And the answer is no. What is illegal is using a monopoly position to stifle competition in another business. And Google hasn't even been accused of that.

Falcon

So last century... (4, Informative)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923409)

Okay, I can't take someone seriously who uses teen-speak. What is she? 16?

Behold your government.

What about the other online ad companies? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923433)

Every day I add a new ad company to my NoScript untrusted list. doubleclick, casalemedia, adstream, quantserve, just to name a few. While google-served ads are generally present as well, these sites continue to be a huge presence in online advertising. Claiming Google has a monopoly in this area is either misunderstanding the issues, not doing any research whatsoever, or extreme bias against anything "mainstream." Any of these things would probably be something we don't want in a government official, especially one so heavily connected to the technology sector.

Greasing Palms (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923529)

Did anyone else read that as "Microsoft has enough lobbyists and has given us enough money, so we can let them slide. Google, it's your turn to line our pockets so we'll leave you alone after a mock trial and a slap on the wrist" ?

Um Hello (1)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923567)

So instead of going after the phone companies like ATT or the broadband companies like Mediacom which routinely screw customers and ARE monopolies, its going after google who has been pretty good to everyone. Ok, makes sense. /dripping sarcasm

Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923593)

more lawyers. NOT

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...