Google Testifies Out of Both Sides of Its Mouth
We were hardly surprised to see two versions of Google appear at today’s hearing: one Google that took responsibility for its position as the dominant force in search, and one that denied it.
POLITICO’s Tony Romm noted that Chairman Eric Schmidt recognized Google’s behemoth power:
“Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Senate’s top antitrust panel, noted the search giant’s recent acquisitions and labeled Google ‘dominant and powerful.’
“Schmidt… acknowledged after a question by Kohl that ‘we’re in that area’ approaching the status of monopoly market share. But he stressed the company already recognizes it has a ‘special responsibility’ in the competition space.”
– POLITICO, Senate questions Google’s neutrality
However, Bloomberg’s Sara Forden noticed that Google’s antitrust lawyer felt a different way:
“Susan Creighton, a partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, Google’s outside antitrust counsel, said in prepared testimony that ‘Google’s apparent ‘bigness’ obscures the fact that it lacks anything resembling monopoly power.’
“‘Monopoly power has long been defined in the courts as the power to exclude competition or to control price. Google has neither,'” she said. Google hasn’t violated U.S. antitrust law, she said.”
– Vancouver Sun, Google may bias search results, US senate subcommittee hears
If your Executive Chairman and top outside antitrust counsel don’t agree on where Google stands as monopoly power in the market then it seems like the right time to investigate.