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Taxpayers: Millions In Subsidies & All Google Fiber Gave Us Was This Lousy T-Shirt

July 25, 2017

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and Google Fiber, announced its second quarter earnings results earlier this week. While the company’s profits were lower than expected due to a big antitrust-related fine from the European Union, the company is still doing very well. As The New York Times said, Alphabet’s growth rate “is rarely seen among companies its size.”

This news is relevant because, as this blog has reported previously (see here, here, and here), Alphabet has relied on taxpayer subsidies as part of its Google Fiber business model. This hardly seems fair or prudent when, according to Axios, Alphabet’s”

  • Revenue increased 21 percent between the second quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017 to $26.01 billion, a figure that was higher than Wall Street analysts had expected.
  • Earnings were $5.01 per share, ahead of the $4.44 per share value analysts predicted.
  • Revenues for Google ads were up 52 percent year-over-year.

Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat acknowledged that operating income was better than expected because of lower capital expenditures that, according to CNBC, “reflected a pause in the expansion of its Google Fiber business.”

Google Fiber’s problems, which include the loss of its second CEO in a year, hasn’t stopped the company from spending money on items like free, custom-made t-shirts. As Insider Louisville explains it, despite being behind schedule on construction in the Kentucky city, Google Fiber “is doling out custom-made T-shirts to Louisvillians to tide” them over (Louisville taxpayers could spend up to $5.4 million to build a network for Google Fiber to use.) The Google Fiber website says, “Hey Louisville. We’re excited to bring you Google Fiber. Together, we’ll work to make the Internet a cooler, kinder, weirder, and even more wonderful place. Show your support by designing a custom t-shirt.” Insider Louisville says the t-shirts come in five sizes, eight colors, and can be customized however residents want them.

Except they cannot display profanity.

Glad to know the government subsidies Google Fiber has received are going to good use.