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Fact-Checking Google: "Search is a Very Competitive Space" (VIDEO)

In the midst of Fortune’s analysis on “Facebook vs. Google: The battle for the future of the web” there is a video interview with Google’s Marissa Mayer.

Turn with us to minute 3:48.

Mayer receives the question, “One republican lawmaker recently said “Google’s in a position to determine who will succeed and who will fail on the Internet. Do you agree?”

Mayer jumps in with Google’s textbook answer. “I think that the Internet is an incredibly competitive space. And it’s fast moving and there’s new things happening all the time and I certainly think that search is an important part of the Internet. It’s so big now that you need search in order to find things.”

We’d +1 that.

Mayer continues. “But that said search is a very competitive space. So we have lots of competition.”

Trust us, we’re not the only ones surprised by that response. In fact, at this point, the Forbes interviewer interjects “even though Google dominates.”

Google controls more than 79% of searches in the U.S. and 98% of the mobile search market.

Worldwide Google’s percentage of desktop search is even higher.

To check our facts, we took a quick look at this graph from NetMarketShare on search engine market share over time.

Why so little competition?

Well, in the case of Google and Facebook, “naturally, it’s Google’s power to pull in those users that worries Facebook the most. For years executives there have said that they are confident they can beat Google on a level playing field. But they fear that, like Microsoft in an earlier era, Google will use its power to peddle Google+, and not always fairly. Some tactics, like promotions on Google.com, are effective and uncontroversial. Others, like Google’s ability to use its search engine to promote Google+ ahead of other social services, could prove more problematic. Google has not yet done so with Google+, but it has done just that with other services, like its maps, prompting rivals to cry foul.”