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Ownership

Ownership

By the Project for Excellence in Journalism

The Internet continued to be dominated in 2008 by large companies. Three of them in particular loom largest over the industry, but each of them — Google, AOL and Yahoo — was trying to maneuver, broaden or reposition itself during the year to either address immediate problems or anticipate ones that might be coming.

For Yahoo the problems were more immediate. It had a lot of traffic but was struggling to produce enough revenue. Google was trying to broaden its identity beyond search. Time Warner’s AOL was still trying to get beyond its identity as an Internet service provider and compete for online advertising and other emerging revenue.

Much of this played out in a dance of potential mergers and joint ventures, many of which did not materialize by the time the year was out, most of them involving Yahoo.

Beyond the three big companies, mergers and acquisitions in the online media and technology sector fell both in number and value in the first three quarters of the year, though it remained the busiest media sector for deal making.

Online News Media Ownership Trends

The vast majority of popular news sites continue to be owned by the richest media companies.

Of the 25 most-visited news websites, 22 were owned by the richest 100 media companies in 2008, based on an analysis of data from Advertising Age and Nielsen Online.


Ownership of 25 Most Popular News Sites, 2008

Audience Ranking

Top 25 Websites Top Media Company Company Rank
(by revenue)
1 MSNBC Digital Network NBC Universal1 6
2 Yahoo News Yahoo 20
3 CNN Digital Network Time Warner 1
4 AOL News Time Warner 1
5 NYTimes.com New York Times Co. 23
6 Tribune Newspapers Tribune Co. 17
7 Gannett Newspapers Gannett Co. 14
8 ABCNEWS Digital Network Walt Disney Co. 3
9 Fox News Digital Network News Corp. 4
10 Google News Google 12
11 USATODAY.com Gannett Co. 14
12 washingtonpost.com Washington Post Co. 27
13 CBS News Digital Network CBS Corp. 7
14 McClatchy Newspaper Network McClatchy Co. 26
15 WorldNow N/A N/A
16 Hearst Newspapers Digital Hearst Corp. 19
17 Advance Internet Advance Publications, Inc. 11
18 MediaNews Group Newspapers MediaNews Group 33
19 BBC News N/A N/A
20 Topix Gannett Co., Tribune Co. and McClatchy Co. 14, 17, 26
21 Slate Washington Post Co. 27
22 Boston.com New York Times Co. 23
23 TheHuffingtonPost.com N/A N/A
24 Cox Newspapers Cox Enterprises 8
25 Gannett Broadcasting Gannett Co. 14

Source: Advertising Age, ‘‘100 Leading Media Companies list’’; PEJ research
Note: The top 100 list is determined by domestic media revenues. The top 25 sites are based on Nielsen Online data for January-December 2008

Two of the five most popular websites in the U.S. — CNN and AOL News — are both owned by Time Warner, the largest media company in the world with revenues of $47 billion in 2008.

The 10 richest companies 28% of the most popular news sites.

Only three of the top 25 news sites were not owned by one of the largest 100 media companies. They were Huffington Post, a news and blog aggregation site; World Now.com, a consulting firm for local media companies, and the BBC, a government-owned news corporation based in Britain.

Ownership of Top 25 Sites, 2008
Big companies dominate
Design Your Own Chart
Source: Advertising Age, ‘‘100 Leading Media Companies list’’; PEJ research
Note: The top 100 list is determined by domestic media revenues. The top 25 sites are based on Nielsen Online data for January-December 2008

Mergers and Acquisitions

With a weakening economy, there was even less merger and acquisition activity that might have changed that lineup of companies. There were fewer deals, and the total value was less than 2007. Still, compared with other media sectors, online looked relatively healthy.

Through the first nine months of 2008, there were 218 online and media technology deals announced, a drop of 6 percent from the same period a year earlier. The total value of the deals, $7.8 billion, also fell, by 7%.2

The investment banking firm Jordan, Edmiston Group said the sector “remained healthy,” considering that the media market plunged $70 billion by value.3

Niche online content companies were among the most actively traded as “buyers continued to seek complementary add-ons,” according to the firm.4

One of the biggest deals was the purchase of CNET, the consumer technology information company, by CBS for $1.8 billion. This is discussed in more detail in the chapter on network news.

Among other notable sales were music-swapper Napster to Best Buy for $53 million and DailyCandy to Comcast for $125 million.

News Corp. sought to expand its mobile business by buying out its partner in Jamba, a company that sells ring tones and wallpaper for cellphones. News Corp. also reorganized its mobile-content operation and rebranded it the Fox Mobile Group.

“These changes will support accelerated growth and extend our global leadership in mobile content licensing, distribution and production,”  said Mauro Montanaro, CEO of the newly formed unit.5

The Big Three in News

When it comes to online news, the range of ownership is even narrower. Four Web sites stood out above all in 2008: Yahoo! News, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, and AOLNews.com.

For the purposes of this report, we want to offer a closer look on the corporate fortunes of the three that are Internet specific: Yahoo, Google and AOL. Each in 2008 tried to redefine what it does, often weighing the strengths of one of the other two.

Yahoo

Yahoo has long been a leader in attracting visitors and display ad revenue to its content-rich websites. By most measures, Yahoo News is the No. 1 destination for news online. Unlike Google, Yahoo’s aggregation is based on human editors, and its offerings are more tailored and, many analysts argue, more efficient.

But the company has struggled in recent years to maintain revenue growth, losing out to Google in search and others in new areas such as social networking.

In 2008, much of its attention, at least publicly, was focused on a storm of merger and acquisition negotiations designed to join forces with others that might remedy those problems.

The tale began in January, when Microsoft began an aggressive and frequently bitter struggle to acquire Yahoo. After much negotiating, the software giant in July offered an enhanced bid of $33 a share. Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s founder and then-CEO, rejected the offer. When the deal fell through Yahoo’s stock quickly dropped to slightly more than $10.6

With tension still high, Yahoo agreed in June to a more limited partnership with Google. The two companies announced a limited search/ advertising partnership in which Google would have delivered ads to some Yahoo search and content pages. Yahoo would gain much-needed revenue. Google would further expand its ad search business and prevent a future Yahoo-Microsoft merger that could threaten its search business.

Google, however, withdrew after the Justice Department told the companies that it would oppose the merger as a potential violation of antitrust laws. The two companies together control 90% of the U.S. search/advertising market.7

In the aftermath, Yang gave up his post as CEO, but remained as the company’s “chief Yahoo,” a corporate strategy role.

Yahoo, according to published reports, turned to merger talks with AOL, which went on as late as December.

At the same time, Yahoo tried to strengthen its business in other ways, particularly in one of its long-standing areas of strength: display advertising.

The biggest move was the launch of a much-anticipated display advertising service called APT designed to make it easier for advertisers to find their desired audiences and to target ads based on the content of the site on which it appears.

One of the hopes for sellers is that the service will be able to generate a lot more volume at the much higher rate paid for targeted ads. In theory it could also allow outlets to sell the same space to multiple advertisers targeting different audiences.
The system rolled out first with a consortium of newspapers interested in the low-cost alternative to traditional methods of hand-selling ads.

The consortium was founded two years earlier as a way to connect advertisers with local newspapers on a common platform. In the earlier effort, the papers got display and classified advertising they would not ordinarily have gotten, and with lower transaction and production costs. In exchange, the papers provided news stories and other content to Yahoo, as well as advertising sold by their sales staffs. The papers also offered Yahoo searches on their websites, boosting Yahoo’s search-ad business, which is No. 2 to Google and losing market share.

With APT, the papers in the consortium get something more: the ability to better target their audience for advertisers. Newspapers, saddled with their own problems, were quick to see the appeal, and Yahoo  by the end of 2008 boasted 796 participating  newspapers. That meant that more than half of all the 1,450 newspapers in the United States were involved.

The whole notion of a newspaper consortium has a significance of its own separate from APT. The idea that newspapers could cooperate with each other in delivering advertising and content online has been widely talked about as key for the newspaper industry if it is to build revenue not just from advertising but other sources online as well, perhaps even subscriptions.

Meanwhile, AOL and Microsoft are attempting to create their own display advertising platforms. And Google paid $3.1 billion in 2007 for DoubleClick, another firm that specializes in display advertising. If APT succeeds, some analysts predicted, it might give Yahoo the financial boost it needs to stay independent .

Without it, there were signs that Yahoo’s dominance in display could slip. In June 2008, News Corp.’s MySpace reported heavier traffic to its social networking site than Yahoo’s portal websites, marking the first time this had happened. Website traffic is the coin of the realm for attracting display ads. Yahoo disputed the calculations, and other analysts pointed out that advertisers have been skeptical of the value of ads on social networking sites.8

That could change over time, as the popularity of MySpace, Facebook and similar networks soars, and advertisers become more experienced with them. As a result, Yahoo was considering its own social networking capabilities that could be built on its popular e-mail platform. One potential project is technology that would keep track of who Yahoo users e-mail the most, and push messages from those addresses to the top.

“’The idea is to ignite the social graph across all properties,”’ Yahoo’s president, Susan L. Decker, said.9

Yahoo certainly faced plenty of pressure to do something to turn its business around. By the end of 2008, its stock had fallen below $14 for the first time in over five years. Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 were down 1% to $1.8 million. And the company’s 2008 net income was $424.3 million, 36% smaller than it was in 2007.

And Yahoo’s share of the search-advertising business continued to fall. In October 2008, 18% of all searches by Americans were made through Yahoo’s search engine. That compared to 22% during the same month a year earlier.10

The company also received something of a challenge managerially late in the year, when a top executive, Qi Lu, the executive vice president for engineering for the search and advertising technology group at Yahoo left to run Microsoft’s Internet operations. The recruitment confirmed Microsoft’s resolve to expand its online search and advertising business to compete with Yahoo, and eventually Google.11

In January 2009, Carol Bartz the new CEO of Yahoo, inherited these challenges . A month later, Bartz announced a new streamlined management structure that eliminated layers of management, a move she said would allow the company to be “faster on its feet.” 12

Market Share of Internet Searches, 2008
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft
Design Your Own Chart
Source: Nielsen Online, comScore, Hitwise data analyzed by Search Engine Land

Google

Google grew in 2008, but more slowly than in previous years. The company remained committed to expanding its business beyond the arena of the Web it already dominates, search advertising. But facing slowing revenue gains, the company later in the year reined in spending on some ventures that proved to have less financial promise, and it suspended it famed program of allowing employs 20% of their time to work on their own projects.

The challenge looking ahead is anticipating how the economics of the Web will evolve beyond its core business, search, and to adapt to the new ways digital information delivery is changing.

Among the new products launched in 2008 were a cellphone operating system called Android, a platform for online bidding to sell television advertising and the completion of the acquisition of a major company in online display advertising. All that, as it also continued to search for ways to develop more revenue from the video sharing giant it had already acquired, YouTube.

Google’s golden egg is search advertising. It makes money from search in two ways:  allowing advertisers to place ads around Google search results and offering its search engine to other websites in exchange for a cut of the pay-per-click revenue. Google makes most of its revenue — 67% in the third quarter of 2008 — from searches conducted through its own websites.13

The key to its business model is market share. So many people use Google searches each day that it makes billions even though the revenue from each ad may be just pennies.

The search business was good to Google again in 2008. The company’s share of search-engine traffic grew from 61% in January 2008 to 66% by year’s end.  Its nearest competitor, Yahoo, saw its share slip from 21% to 18% and third-place Microsoft went from 10% to 8%, according to Search Engine Land, a newsletter that follows the industry.14

In 2008 Google’s revenue grew 31% to nearly $21.8 billion. Profits for 2008 rose just 1% to $4.2 billion.

As of December, Google, after just 10 years, had a market value of $95 billion and 20,000 employees.

Even as its search business improves, Google has recognized the risk of putting all of its eggs in the search-business basket. As new arenas for search and other revenue open up, such as mobile applications, the company has already acknowledged the challenge of maintaining its growth rates. Not only does it have increasing competition in these new areas, but the business it increasingly controls, traditional online search, also is maturing.  15

“While we are realistic about the poor state of the global economy, we will continue to manage Google for the long term, driving improvements to search and ads, while investing in future growth areas such as enterprise, mobile and display,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in October.16

Its release in 2008 of Android, an operating system for smartphones, was a potentially significant step toward establishing leadership in the emerging business of Internet use on mobile devices. Designed to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, the software can be downloaded and run on any smartphone for free.

Android anticipates what many expect to be the new frontier driving growth in mobile phones — applications. Consumers, the thinking goes, will not pick their cellphones based on the quality of the network, or even on the cellphones offered by companies. They will pick them based on the applications offered on each phone. The App Store offered by Apple is the breakthrough here. Android, in theory, will position Google to become a player there.

Through Android, users can browse the Internet, play music and videos, and, with a properly equipped phone, take and store photographs. The system is open-source, meaning other software companies are free to create applications, something that can add greatly to usage. Neither the iPhone nor BlackBerry operating systems are open-source. Those applications create a whole new universe for potential advertising.

“The online advertising giant has every intention of dominating your mobile-Web experience the same way it has the desktop Internet,” according to Fast Company magazine.17

As part of that strategy, Google expanded its emerging television ad selling business in 2008. It struck a deal in September to broker television ads on cable networks owned by General Electric’s NBC Universal. The deal allowed advertisers to bid online for ad time on NBC’s six networks, which included MSNBC and CNBC.18 A few weeks later, Bloomberg Television agreed to use the service, too. In May 2008, Google allowed advertisers using Google’s online ad buying service to also purchase advertising on television. The original deal had been limited to the Dish satellite television network.19

Google in March 2008 also completed the deal announced in 2007 to expand its position in the smaller market of online display advertising. The acquisition was Google’s $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick.

According to the New York Times, “DoubleClick, which was founded in 1996, provides display ads on Web sites like MySpace, the Wall Street Journal and America Online as well as software to help those sites maximize ad revenue. The company also helps ad buyers — advertisers and ad agencies — manage and measure the effectiveness of their rich media, search and other online ads.”20

“Google really wants to get into the display advertising business in a big way, and they don’t have the relationships they need to make it happen,” Dave Morgan, then the chairman of Tacoda, an online advertising network, said at the time the transaction was announced. “But DoubleClick does. It gives them immediate access to those relationships.”21

Google received some good news in the lawsuit brought by Viacom against Google’s YouTube. Viacom sued YouTube on March 2007 for $1 billion, alleging that 160,000 of Viacom’s television clips had been uploaded to the site.22 But in August 2008, a California judge dismissed a similar copyright infringement case involving a viral video company. The judge ruled the video company “should not have to shoulder the entire burden of policing third-party copyrights on its Web site.”23

The case was closely watched by Google. If it is forced to more closely police its users’ activity, it would add greatly to costs and decrease the free-wheeling nature of the postings that are the hallmark of YouTube.  (While YouTube is free, Google makes money from display ads on the site, selecting and displaying ads based on the content of the video a user selects. Advertiser fees are based on the number of views.)

Despite its willingness to experiment with new products, by the last half of 2008, Google began to scale back its expansive approach to new ventures. For years the company was committed to allowing its engineers to follow their product ideas, even if the revenue potential was not immediately apparent. It fit in with the goal of reducing the company’s reliance on search advertising, and the company’s revenue could pay for the experimentation.

But in December, with Google’s stock is trading at half its record value of $741.79 (hit in November 2007), Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal that the company would cut products “that haven’t really caught on.” He added that the policy of letting engineers pursue their own ideas would resume when the economy improves.24

The company also eliminated 100 jobs from its recruitment office, reflecting a slowdown in its own hiring.25 It also eliminated Print Ads, a service that sold print ads in more than 800 newspapers. The program was started in November 2006, and ended in January 2009.  Google said it did not generate enough revenue.

One question, going forward, is whether maturity and the recession change the culture at Google, making it more cautious, less free-wheeling, and if so, whether that enhances or inhibits the company’s ability to adapt to a changing industry.

AOL

AOL, the former dial-up Internet access company that has had its ups and downs since its founding in 1983, also added new businesses in 2008, but continued to struggle to redefine itself as a company that makes money on advertising rather than Internet access subscriptions.

In February 2008, AOL acquired buy.at, a company that helps match advertisers to online content producers. The company also provides marketing services for advertisers looking for content ripe for its ads.

Two months later, AOL completed its $857 million acquisition of Bebo, a social networking site founded in Britain that specializes in the exchange of entertainment media among users.26

In December, AOL announced a “re-launch” of Bebo as a integrated “social inbox” where users can aggregate all their email accounts, Twitter feeds and instant messages from competing social networking websites.

The deal had no shortage of critics, even after the changes were announced.
“So far AOL’s having a hard time proving doubters wrong,” Fortune blogger Nicholas Carlson wrote in December. “While Bebo is popular abroad, its 5.9 million US uniques in October were just a fraction of MySpace’s 76 million and Facebook’s 46 million.” 27

AOL thought Bebo would form the centerpiece of its new People Networks business unit. Along with AIM, ICQ and AOL’s other community platforms, the unit said it had 80 million users worldwide.  As part of the strategy, AOL also acquired Socialthing!, a start-up that aggregates social feeds from sites like Digg, Twitter, and Flickr.

“AOL is now fully focused on growing our business in three key areas — our advertising network, publishing and people networks — by delivering relevant content and advertising across the Web, and we’re making great progress in each area,” Randy Falco, chairman and CEO of AOL, said.28

Among other advertising businesses added by AOL were Advertising.com, which operates one of the largest third-party display ad networks; the behavioral-targeting leader Tacoda; Third Screen Media, which operates one of the largest mobile media networks; the market-leading video ad serving platform Lightningcast; Quigo, which offers advertisers the ability to target ads based on the content of Web pages; and ADTECH’s global ad-serving platform.29

AOL also continued to struggle with the transition from a subscription-based revenue model to an advertising-based one. Since 2006, when AOL made the shift, advertising revenue has failed to offset declines in subscriptions, which are rapidly being supplanted by broadband service providers that offer faster Internet viewing over high-speed phone, cable and wireless systems.

AOL’s revenue in 2008 declined to $4.2 billion, down 20% compared to 2007. Subscription revenue dropped 31% while advertising revenue decreased 1%.30

In January, the company announced it was cutting its workforce by 10%, or 700 employees.31

The financial results fueled speculation that AOL might be sold by its corporate parent, Time Warner, the media conglomerate with interests in movie making, publishing, cable television and other industries. When the two companies merged in 2001, many observers considered it an acquisition of Time Warner by AOL. That was not to be. AOL chairman Steve Case has left and Time Warner executives are firmly in charge. In 2008, AOL provided slightly more than one-fifth of Time Warner’s revenue.

White Spaces and Increased Internet Accessibility

In 2008, the federal government approved a new form of broadband wireless Internet service that could open up the Internet to new service providers and make it more accessible to remote areas of the United States.

This came in the approval in November by the Federal Communications Commission of a plan to allow the use of so-called “white spaces” for wireless broadband. White spaces are the unused frequencies between television channels, which can penetrate walls and travel longer distances than current broadband wireless services.32 They were to become available as television broadcasters worked to completion of a mandatory switch to digital transmission in mid-2009. (For more on White Spaces, see Local TV Economics and Network TV Economics).

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Dell, Motorola and others want to use white spaces to provide high-speed wireless service to specially adapted mobile devices and laptops, desktops and other devices. These companies were joined by civil rights groups and rural organizations that think opening the channels could make the Internet more accessible in rural areas.

“The applications of this spectrum are nearly limitless,” Dell chief executive Michael Dell said. “There will be more expansive Internet access available in all communities, urban and rural, with laptop computers and other wireless devices.”33

It is expected to provide consumers with a greater range and speed than Wi-Fi while costing less. It could also mean new and improved household entertainment equipment such as DVD players and TVs that chat wirelessly through walls, remote controls that are never out of range and hand-held devices that receive high-definition video signals, said Jake Ward, spokesman for the Wireless Innovation Alliance, which includes many technology companies and others that back the use of white spaces.34

The technology could become available for consumer use as early as 2010, depending on how swiftly Internet providers and device manufacturers adapt.

The FCC planned to auction the white spaces with one key string attached: licensed white space Internet providers would be required to offer some free wireless broadband service.

Net Neutrality

Supporters of net neutrality won some key victories in 2008 that should keep the Internet equally open to voices small and large, at least conceptually.

In simple terms, net neutrality is the idea that those who provide Internet service should not provide more favorable terms to some content providers than others.  It is the framework that has existed for years, whereby Internet service providers grant the same terms to all content providers, whether they are one of the largest media companies or an ordinary citizen.

The result is that users are able to access Yahoo News easily and at the same speed as they can access a community blog.

Some supporters of net neutrality want the concept codified into law. They argue that without legislation, a differentiated pricing arrangement would emerge that could be unfair to certain content producers. The fear is that smaller, noncommercial sites may not be able to absorb any higher fees set by the telecommunications providers.

Consequently, those sites unable to pay the premiums would be forced to run at slower speeds, and theoretically, be less desirable to Web users. Without net neutrality, they contend, the big will just get bigger.

Those lobbying for net neutrality include a broad coalition of corporate Web companies, including Google, Amazon.com and eBay, along with a number of consumer rights groups, many bloggers and several conservative religious organizations. In December, an article in the Wall Street Journal noted that a proposal by Google to speed up service to its users would have Internet service providers use Google servers in their networks.

That was seen by some as a violation of the principle. It would, the article said, “create a fast lane for its own content.” 35 Google insists its commitment to net neutrality and that it is only investing in an improved “content delivery network” for some of its content.36

On the other side of the net neutrality debate are those who oppose legal restrictions on the Web. They argue that the Web should be left free of regulation. This is necessary, they say, to attract investment to expand the Internet’s capacity.

Opponents of net neutrality include a number of telecommunication companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, free-market advocacy groups, as well as the Communications Workers of America.37 Internet service providers argue that they need a freer hand to regulate bandwidth because Internet-hungry consumers are gobbling it up faster than they can supply it. Absent some system for controlling how bandwidth is used – or a massive investment in new infrastructure in cables — providers say they simply cannot afford to stay in business.

In an important decision for supporters of neutrality, the FCC ruled in August 2008 that Comcast violated federal policy by slowing Web access to users of applications that require significant amounts of bandwidth and which are often used to illegally download movies and music.

Comcast is appealing the FCC ruling.

Despite industry objections, President Barack Obama’s election seemed likely to solidify support for net neutrality. As a senator he co-sponsored legislation backing net neutrality. 38 And during the election campaign, Obama said he supported the principle of net neutrality “because once providers start to privilege some applications or Web sites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out, and we all lose.” 39

On Web site, the campaign argued that “a key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way. Barack Obama strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.” 40

Footnotes

1. NBC Universal is owned by General Electric Corp.

2. “Third Quarter 2008 M&A Overview,” Jordan, Edmiston Group, press release, Oct. 1, 2008

3. “M&A Shift and Transformation Acceleration,” Jordan, Edmiston Group. press release, January 6, 2009

4. “Third Quarter 2008 M&A Overview,” Jordan, Edmiston Group, press release, Oct. 1, 2008

5. Georg Szalai, “Fox Mobile face-lift,” Hollywood Reporter, Oct. 20, 2008

6. Jason Mick, “Yahoo-Microsoft Retrospect: Refusal Cost Yahoo Shareholders $24.4,” Daily Tech, November 13, 2008

7. Jessica E. Vascellaro and Nick Wingfield, “Google Ditches Ad Pact with Yahoo,” Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2008

8. “MySpace overtakes Yahoo in display ad views: reports,” Reuters, Sept. 1, 2008. Viewed on MarketingWeb

9. Stephanie Clifford, “Yahoo Tries to Move Past Takeover Status,” New York Times, June 5, 2008

10. “Google Nears 72% of U.S. Searches in October, 2008,” Hitwise. Press release, Nov. 13, 2008

11. “Microsoft Fills Post with Yahoo Veteran,” Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2008

12. Erick Schonfeld, “Yahoo’s Bartz Cleans Up House,” Tech Crunch, February 26, 2008

13. Juan Carlos Perez, “Google Commits to Long-Term Goals after Q3 Revenue Rise,” IDG News Service/Miami Bureau, October 16, 2008

14. These figures represent the average of share data from three ratings agencies: Hitwise, comScore and Nielsen

15. Google SEC Filing, 10-Q for the quarter ending September 30, 2008

16. “Google Announced third quarter 2008 results,” Google press release, Oct. 16, 2008

17. Robert Scoble, “Scobleizer: Google’s Plan for Mobile Domination,” Fast Company, December 2008

18. Jessica E. Vascellaro and Vishesh Kumar, “Google To Broker TV Ads for NBC,” Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2008

19. Erick Schonfeld, “TV, Meet the Web. Google Analytics Starts Measuring TV Ads,” Washington Post, June 6, 2008

20. Louise Story and Miguel Helft, “Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion,” New York Times, April 14, 2007

21. Louise Story and Miguel Helft, “Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion,” New York Times, April 14, 2007

22. “Viacom Files Federal Copyright Infringement Complaint Against YouTube and Google,” Viacom press release, March 13, 2007

23. “Copyright Case May Aid Google,” New York Post, August 29, 2008

24. Jessica E. Vascellaro and Scott Morrison, “Google Gears Down for Tougher Times,” Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2008

25. Google,  “Changes to Recruiting,” press release, January 14, 2009

26. Time Warner SEC filing, August 6, 2008

27. Nicholas Carson, “AOL ‘Relaunches’ Its $850 Million Social Network, Bebo,” Silicon Valley Insider, December 10, 2008.

28. “AOL Completes Acquisition of Global Social Media Network Bebo,” Bebo Press Release, May 19, 2008

29. Larry Dignan, “AOL ad revenue continues to slide,” News.cnet.com, February 4, 2009

30. Larry Dignan, “AOL ad revenue continues to slide,” News.cnet.com, February 4, 2009

31. Leena Rao, “AOL Axing 700 Employees,” Techcrunch.com, Jan. 28, 2009

32. “Google Urges Washington Action on White Spaces,” Wall Street Journal, September 2008

33. David Ho, “FCC Vote Opens Door to a Bigger Wireless Web,” Austin American-Statesman, December 8, 2008

34. David Ho, “FCC Vote Opens Door to a Bigger Wireless Web,” Austin American-Statesman, December 8, 2008

35. Vishesh Kumar and Christopher Rhoads, “Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web,” December 15, 2008

36. Scott Gilbertson, “Google Blasts WSJ, Still ‘Committed’ to Net Neutrality,” Wired Magazine, December 15, 2008

37. Chloe Albanesius, “AOL Yahoo Tieup Sparks Net Neutrality Worries,” PC Magazine, March 11, 2008

38. Internet Freedom Preservation Act, S. 215, 110th Congress (introduced January 9, 2007), available at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s215is.txt.pdf (accessed February 11, 2009)

39. Obama for America, “Science Technology and Innovation for a New Generation, http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology

40. Obama for America, “Science Technology and Innovation for a New Generation, http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology