The Technology section of the New York Times has a great article about Skyhook’s anti-competitive practices lawsuit against Google. It also shows the power of corporations to often turn on a dime when they really need to focus their efforts on an issue. It also showcases why it is often better not to have a paper trail…
I was also particularly Interested in some of the blurbs from Google product managers on the importance of location data given the focus this issue has had in the news these past few weeks. When Steve Lee was asked about Skyhook winning Motorola’s business to use Skyhook location technologies as opposed to Google’s his response was:
“That would be awful for Google,” Mr. Lee wrote, “because it will cut off our ability to continue collecting data to maintain and improve our location database.”
Early in March and April of that year, Skyhook had won the ability to provide location data from Samsung and Motorola. Both are large Android handset manufacturers. I believe that they account for about 70% of the Android handsets on the market. (gut, this is not based in hard data I can find) So, the loss of location data that Google would absolutely need to improve it’s own location services (not to mention the ability to provide targeted, focused location based advertising) would have a huge impact on Google and the Android platform.
My favorite quote from the article is this:
The final entry in one much-redacted e-mail thread came in reply to a colleague’s pledge to get back with some detail about Skyhook.“PLEASE DO NOT! Thread-kill and talk to me off-line with any questions,” Patrick Brady, a partner manager at Google, wrote on June 25, 2010.
Here was at least one manager that was thinking ahead and how the legal system can drive wide and deep leveraging email for evidence. I would love to see the complete text of many of these emails… What a story it could tell.
As an aside, I once has a VP of a company I was with “guide” me to be sure to delete any email older than 6 months. It provides plausible deniability… “Your Honor, I do not recall that email…”
Image Credit: amanky from Flickr CC