Google Is Wise to Keep Quiet on Merger

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-06-20 Print this article Print

Smaller mobile marketshare means few mobile searchers, which means fewer mobile ads served. That means less money for Google's coffers.

Analysts agreed Google was wise not to weigh in.

Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said Google appreciates the rationale of the deal, which is that spectrum is scarce, T-Mobile was not viable on its own, and Google wants more advanced networks to ply its services.

"However, actually coming out in favor of the deal may be a step too far - diversity of carrier partners is also a desired outcome for Google, and consolidation works against that," Greengart told eWEEK.

Industry analyst Jack Gold, who himself isn't sure the merger helps consumers, said Google doesn't want to to get involved in what it considers a non-strategic fight for them.

Android's future is being threatened by the patent infringement lawsuit Oracle has brought to bear. Oracle accused Google of using Java code in Android without compensating Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired last year. Oracle is seeking billions in damages.

"Google has enough things to fight right now and they don't need another battle on their hands," Gold told eWEEK. "They have significant patent issues right now with Oracle over Java. And the carriers in Europe are pushing at them and in almost full rebellion (hence why the carriers are supporting the Windows Phone ambitions of Nokia as a third alternative that they can potentially control and increase their revenues). And Google is fighting a battle with Apple to gain market share and be No. 1."

Moreover, Google wants to bolster its current mobile search ad offerings with local deals services and mobile payment apps such as Google Offers and Google Wallet, which will warrant carrier support, Gold added.

So there are plenty of reasons why Google is choosing to keep quiet about the AT&T-T-Mobile bid. One reason eWEEK believes Google would want to weigh in is that consolidating the nation's top carriers providers fewer choices for consumers.

T-Mobile was Google's first Android carrier partner and Android creator Andy Rubin has a soft spot for it. Sure, T-Mobile is struggling to keep, led alone add to, its current 30 million-plus wireless subscribers, but the company has tapped hardware makers to produce some very attractive Android smartphones.

T-Mobile even revitalized Rubin's old baby from Danger, the Sidekick brand, as an Android handset. Despite AT&T's assurances of seamless transitions for T-Mobile subscribers, there's never any guarantee what will happen to T-Mobile phone users services.



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