The year 2016 was momentous in politics and celebrity deaths, but also in the field of technology law. Here’s our wrap-up of the five most significant tech cases that hit the judiciary in the past year.
One of the most perplexing issues in communications policy — with a convoluted 20-year history — is that of the cable television set-top box. We may finally be on the verge of a new era where the user interface is more important than that archaic box.
The collective assembly of a patent war chest by the oddly named Rockstar Consortium -— all of the otherwise competing rivals of Google in the wireless OS space — smacks of a horizontal conspiracy to raise rivals’ costs.
We’ve been discussing the FTC and EU investigations of Google’s search practices for more than two years. The latest FairSearch contentions represent a transparent attempt to forestall resolution of the European process, moving the goalposts in light of the failure of their dire competitive predictions. It is time for Commissioner Almunia and the EU to close up shop, settle and move on.
Thirteen months after the FTC settled its antitrust investigation of Google by flatly declining to regulate the company’s search practices, the EU is poised to do just that.
In the continuing conflict between social media and copyright law, only time will tell. Once again, disruptive technology is caught in the middle.
In the ongoing saga of governmental antitrust investigations of Google, recent weeks have witnessed a new level of rhetoric and disingenuous use of the regulatory process to handicap, rather than promote, competition and innovation. The current case in point relates once again to search neutrality, but this time complaining rivals remarkably object to getting exactly what they’ve asked for over many years.
German, French, Japanese and other nations’ legal rules on search defamation, autocomplete and royalties are foreign, literally, to U.S. jurisprudence.
FairSearch.org is in denial. That is why its proposals should be rejected by antitrust enforcement authorities worldwide. Nothing distills the difference between the European and American approaches to competition law as much as this trend-setting investigation.
Deconstructing the antitrust analysis applied by the FTC reveals the daunting task it faced in seeking to hold Google accountable for monopolization. The decision to fold-up the agency’s tent represents an admirable instance of prosecutorial restraint by a Commission that had been very publicly hounded by Google’s rivals.