Googzilla Makes a Move in a High Stakes Contest

May 22, 2024

dinosaur30a_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dinobaby. Unlike some folks, no smart software improved my native ineptness.

The trusted “real news” outfit Thomson Reuters published this popular news story about dancing with Googzilla. The article is titled by the click seekers as “Google Cuts Mystery Check to US in Bid to Sidestep Jury Trial.” I love the “mystery check.” I thought FinCEN was on the look out for certain types of transactions.


The contest is afoot. Thanks, MSFT Copilot.

Here’s the core of the story: On one side of the multi-dimensional Go board is the US Department of Justice. Yes, that was the department with the statues in the area where employees once were paid each week. On the other side of the game board is Googzilla. This is the digital construct which personifies the Alphabet, Google, YouTube, DeepMind, et al outfit. Some in Google’s senior management are avid game players. After all, one must set up a system in which no matter who plays a Googzilla-branded game, the “just average wizards” who run the company wins. The mindset has worked wonders in the online advertising and SEO sector. The SEO “experts” were the people who made a case to their clients for the truism “If you want traffic, it is a pay-to-play operation.” The same may be said for YouTube and content creators who make content so Google can monetize that digital flow and pay a sometimes unknown amount to a creator who is a one-person 1930s motion picture production company. Ditto for the advertisers who use the Google system to buy advertising and benefit by providing advertising space. What’s Google do? It makes the software that controls the game.

Where’s this going? Google is playing a game with the Department of Justice. I am certain some in the DoJ understand this approach. Others may not grasp the concept of Googzilla’s absolute addiction to gaming and gamesmanship. Casinos are supposed to make money. There are exceptions, of course. I can think of a high-profile case history of casino failure, but Google is a reasonably competent casino operator. Sure, there are some technical problems when the Cloud back end fails and the staff become a news event because they protest with correctly spelled signage. But overall, I would suggest that the depth of Googzilla’s game playing is not appreciated by its users, its competition, or some of the governments trying to regain data and control of information pumped into the creatures financial blood bank.

Let’s look at the information the trusted outfit sought to share as bait for a begging-for-dollars marketing play:

Google has preemptively paid damages to the U.S. government, an unusual move aimed at avoiding a jury trial in the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit over its digital advertising business. Google disclosed the payment, but not the amount, in a court filing last week that said the case should be heard and decided by a judge directly. Without a monetary damages claim, Google argued, the government has no right to a jury trial.

That’s the move. The DoJ now has to [a] ignore the payment and move forward to a trial with a jury deciding if Googzilla is a “real” monopoly or a plain vanilla, everyday business like the ones Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft have helped go out of business. [b] Cash the check and go back to scanning US government job listings for a positive lateral arabesque on a quest to the SES (senior executive service). [c] Keep the check and pile on more legal pressure because the money was an inducement, not a replacement for the US justice system. With an election coming up, I can see option [d] on the horizon: Do nothing.

The idea is that in multi-dimensional Go, Google wants to eliminate the noise of legal disputes. Google wins if the government cashes the check. Google wins if the on-rushing election causes a slow down of an already slow process. Google wins if the DoJ keeps piling on the pressure. Google has the money and lawyers to litigate. The government has a long memory but that staff and leadership turnover shifts the odds to Googzilla. Google Calendar keeps its attorneys filing before deadlines and exploiting the US legal system to its fullest extent. If the US government sues Google because the check was a bribe, Google wins. The legal matter shifts to resolving the question about the bribe because carts rarely are put in front of horses.

In this Googzilla-influenced games, Googzilla has created options and set the stage to apply the same tactic to other legal battles. The EU may pass a law prohibiting pre-payment in lieu of a legal process, but if that does not move along at the pace of AI hyperbole, Google’s DoJ game plan can be applied to the lucky officials in Brussels and Strasbourg.

The Reuters’ report says:

Stanford Law School’s Mark Lemley told Reuters he was skeptical Google’s gambit would prevail. He said a jury could ultimately decide higher damages than whatever Google put forward.

“Antitrust cases regularly go to juries. I think it is a sign that Google is worried about what a jury will do,” Lemley said. Another legal scholar, Herbert Hovenkamp of the University of Pennsylvania’s law school, called Google’s move "smart" in a post on X. “Juries are bad at deciding technical cases, and further they do not have the authority to order a breakup,” he wrote.

Okay, two different opinions. The Google check is proactive.

Why? Here are some reasons my research group offered this morning:

  1. Google has other things to do with its legal resources; namely, deal with the copyright litigation which is knocking on its door
  2. The competitive environment is troubling so Googzilla wants to delete annoyances like the DoJ and staff who don’t meet the new profile of the ideal Googler any longer
  3. Google wants to set a precedent so it can implement its pay-to-play game plan for legal hassles.

I am 99 percent confident that Google is playing a game. I am not sure that others perceive the monopoly litigation as one. Googzilla has been refining its game plan, its game-playing skills, and its gaming business systems for 25 years. How long has the current crop of DoJ experts been playing Googley games? I am not going to bet against Googzilla. Remember what happened in the 2021 film Godzilla vs. Kong. Both beasties make peace and go their separate ways. If that happens, Googzilla wins.

Stephen E Arnold, May 22, 2024


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