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Fact-Checking Google: Schmidt's Answers Underscore Question, Is "Trust Us" Enough To Settle Antitrust Concerns

On Sept. 21, the Senate held a hearing on the “Power of Google” and off the bat, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt wasn’t exactly happy about it (remember, he refused to testify at first). In an interview with the Washington Post, Schmidt said, “So we get hauled in front of the Congress for developing a product that’s free, that serves a billion people. Okay? I mean, I don’t know how to say it any clearer. I mean, it’s fine. It’s their job.”

But the questioning didn’t stop on Sept. 21. After the hearing, the Subcommittee had a lot of additional questions it wanted answered. Over 100 for Schmidt alone. And just last week, Google released Schmidt’s written answers to the questions (click here to see them).

It turns out that we’re not the only ones who noticed that Schmidt’s muddled answers raise even more questions about whether Google can be taken at its word.

Recognizing that Schmidt was under oath both during the Senate hearing and in these responses to the Senators’ questions, this week, we’d like to take a closer look at some of Schmidt’s more sensational claims.

For starters, Schmidt wrote in his responses:

  1. “I would disagree that Google is dominant.”
  2. “Google does not have a dominant position in the smartphone market.”
  3. “Thematic search results (such as Places) incorporated in universal search results are not separate ‘products and services’ from Google.”
  4. “Google does not believe that scale is a barrier to entry. The Internet provides a level playing field for competition.”

Stay tuned for more about these and other written replies from Schmidt that at best, seem to stretch the facts to a breaking point.