The specter of “search neutrality” raises its head again

The latest criticism of Google as an unfair monopoly, which comes from the CEO of a comparison shopping site called Nextag, is riddled with flawed logic — but the search giant has also invited this kind of charge with some of its recent behavior.

Ignoring critics, Verizon, Comcast dive deeper into cross-selling pact

Verizon and Comcast are now selling their cross-network bundle of mobile and broadband services in six new markets. The U.S. Department of Justice may well find that their cross-selling pact anti-competitive, but Verizon and its cable partners aren’t stopping until they’re told they have to.

Today in Connected Consumer

A lot of congressional hearings are just for show, a chance for congress-critters to get some TV face-time and to grandstand for campaign donations. With Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Herb Kohl retiring next year, today’s grilling of Google chairman Eric Schmidt could be much more than that.

Today in Mobile

An unbelievable August for the mobile industry was capped this morning with news that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed an anti-trust suit to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA. AT&T quickly responded by saying it will fight the suit tooth and nail, and T-Mobile noted that the deal would bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the U.S. There are a lot of dollars at stake and plenty of politics at play, so it’s too early to stick a fork in the acquisition. And with a massive $6 billion break-up fee looming, you can be sure that AT&T is going to fight with everything it has.

What the Web Is Saying About Apple and Antitrust

Federal authorities are widely believed to be considering an antitrust inquiry of some kind into Apple’s practices regarding development of apps for the iPhone and iPad, with the FTC and the Justice Department discussing a complaint reportedly made by Adobe over Apple’s restrictions on developers.

Acer Ferrari One First Impression

I was on cloud 9 when the PR firm told me they were sending a Ferrari for me to take for a spin. The bubble burst when they said it would be arriving via FedEx. That’s when I knew it was the Acer Ferrari One ultra-portable.

Palm Supposedly Rejected Employee Poaching Deal with Apple

Steve Jobs, Jon Rubinstein, Ed Colligan

Steve Jobs, Jon Rubinstein, Ed Colligan

According to Bloomberg, former Palm (s palm) CEO Ed Colligan rejected an offer by Steve Jobs to refrain from hiring each other’s employees.

Similar allegations have been made regarding Apple (s aapl) and Google (s goog) recently, though in that instance the policy was supposedly an informal and undocumented one, but with Palm there are “communications” involved. Read More about Palm Supposedly Rejected Employee Poaching Deal with Apple

Antitrust Dept: Cracking Down on Google, Silicon Valley

Make no mistake about it: The trustbusters are pretty serious about dropping the hammer on Silicon Valley in order to break up the region’s web of cozy relationships, as last month’s Wired story make clear. They are looking especially hard at Google, which has been increasingly widening both its scope and its ambitions.
Bloomberg reports today that the rumors of Google and Apple colluding when it comes to hiring employees are getting a closer look in Washington. Yesterday, Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board of directors (or was shown the door by Steve Jobs, depending on your take) and now there’s talk that Genentech Chairman Art Levinson, who sits on the boards of Google and Apple, will have to make a similar choice. Read More about Antitrust Dept: Cracking Down on Google, Silicon Valley

FTC May Force End to Google-Apple Love Affair

ftc

No one can deny they’ve been chummy. Google (s goog) and Apple (s aapl) skip about Silicon Valley, hand-in-hand, developing new tech together that is perfectly suited for the Apple hardware it makes its way onto, despite having competing smartphone OS platforms.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to step in on the little dance going on between the two major players, citing suspicion of activity that violates anti-trust regulations. Even though Google and Apple are not technically one company, their cozy relationship could represent a monopoly that is unfair for their competition. Read More about FTC May Force End to Google-Apple Love Affair