FairSearch - for the right result

Senate Announces Witnesses for "The Power of Google" Hearing

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt takes the witness stand on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at a U.S. Senate hearing on “The Power of Google.” Schmidt’s presence comes begrudgingly, after Google initially refused requests from the Senate for Schmidt and founder and CEO Larry Page to testify. The subcommittee released the full list of hearing witnesses earlier today. Worth noting the hearing’s been divided into two panels; Schmidt gets his own.

During his testimony, Schmidt will no doubt push that Google’s dominance in the search world is good for consumers. And he’s sure to be echoed by Google counsel Susan Creighton on the panel that follows.

However, their arguments will be countered with real-life examples from businesses who’ve experienced Google’s anticompetitive conduct first-hand.

In addition to Google’s Creighton, the second panel includes:

  • Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, who commenting in The Wall Street Journal about Google’s content scraping last year, said: “[Google] is trying to leverage its distribution power”—the search engine—”to take an inferior product and put it in front of the user.”
  • Jeff Katz, CEO of Nextag, a popular price comparison tool for small businesses.
  • Tom Barnett, counsel to Expedia (a FairSearch member), and former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the US Justice Department will testify on the threat of Google’s search dominance to competition and consumers and the importance of enforcing existing antitrust laws.

Needless to say, we’ll be watching closely. For more information, visit the FairSearch guide to the hearing.