Google’s management, staff, shareholders and advertisers have reportedly reacted with amazement to the rumour that the Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division would announce the proposed break up of the company in a statement scheduled for release on April 1st.
The DOJ allegedly has had long standing reservations about the search giant’s growing market share and an insider, who insisted on anonymity said ‘enough is enough, success of this nature and scale is simply un-American in the current environment.’ Another source close to the regulator said the move was ‘designed to show that the administration was independent and that it had become concerned that its focus on troubled assets alone might be interpreted as unacceptable bias in respect of narrow sectors of economic activity.’
As the news broke details of the proposed methodology for managing the break up have begun to emerge. Multiple ideas have surfaced. You Tube is be sold off to bidders on specific content categories. The highest prices are expected for ‘self-immolation’ and ‘cute pets falling over’ with much lower sums expected in the brand advertising category. The real excitement concerns the search service itself. Despite pre-emptive bids from an unnnamed Pacific North West corporation it is expected that the sale will not be a single item auction.
Regulators are expected to propose a ‘modified Scrabble’ allocation system which essentially inverts the ’tile value’ of the game meaning that the lowest reserve prices will be attached to searches starting with the letters Q, Z, J, X and K (the tradional ‘non-inverted’ ranking will be used in Poland and the Czech Republic). Bidders are scrambling to engage Mckinsey’s lexicography division to establish the value of each lot for the auction which, ironically, will be conducted by Google itself. It is expected that Google will break with their previous auction methodology – this time the highest bidder will win.
At the time of going to press no one from either Google or the DOJ was available for comment. A spokesman for Hasbro said ‘if the inverted Scrabble methodology is adopted we will consider appropriate remedies for unauthorized use of our copywright’.