Google and the antitrust inquiry: Fighting shadows

The government’s case against Google will have to grapple with some fundamental questions. What does the word “monopoly” mean when applied to a web-based entity like Google? And are network effects a barrier to entry, or are online monopolies inherently more fragile than their real-world cousins?

Mr. Schmidt goes to Washington: Google lobbying hits new high

When most people think about Google and Facebook, they think about California’s Silicon Valley. But according to newly filed disclosure documents, the tech industry’s titans are spending increasing amounts of time and money making their voices heard in Washington, D.C. Are they crossing the line?

Google Ramps Up Its Lobbying in Washington

Google boosted the amount it spends on lobbying by 57 percent in the first quarter compared with last year, according to documents that were filed with federal authorities. A non-profit agency called Consumer Watchdog says the company is now “one of the highest rollers in Washington.”

CMEA’s Maurice Gunderson Talks Tactics

As the stimulus and the recession both leave marks on the cleantech industry, cleantech investors, along with entrepreneurs, are adjusting to a new landscape. And CMEA Capital is one venture capital firm that seems to be navigating it successfully, so far. The company backed A123Systems, the lithium-ion battery manufacturer whose much-celebrated initial public offering surpassed expectations in the midst of an IPO drought in September, as well as Solyndra, the thin-film solar startup that received the first renewable-energy manufacturing loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
We recently sat down with Maurice Gunderson, senior partner at CMEA, who previously co-founded venture-capital firm Nth Power, to discuss his thoughts on the future of the greentech industry, and the how CMEA – and its portfolio companies – are prepared to thrive in the new economy. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
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Top 5 Tips for Cleantech Startups Headed to Washington

800px-US_Capitol_SouthWith so much activity in Washington, D.C., these days — from funding opportunities to policies like cap and trade — that could affect cleantech industries, many startups have sent their executives to the capital or hired lobbyists in the hope of adding their voices to the debate. But cleantech startups need to be careful when it comes to dedicating their limited resources to these efforts. While spending time in D.C. can certainly bring rewards, once there it’s easy to spend tons of cash without much to show for it. Here’s our list of the top 5 things startups should know before hopping on a plane to Washington.
Don’t hire a lobbying firm first. Before ever stepping foot in D.C., identify which issues you think you can add value to, says John Stubbs, executive director of the Global Innovation Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that works to promote innovation for solutions to global problems. Those issues could be cap-and-trade legislation, renewable portfolio standards, tax credits, stimulus, patent reform or others.
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