Google’s executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt will be speaking before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee later today as that panel looks to determine whether Google abuses its power in online search.
Antitrust regulators are investigating complaints that Google favors its own commerce services and offerings in its search results, among other allegations.
Some companies has complained that there search ranking dropped when they Paid Ad budget dropped.
According to the New York Times, which obtained Schmidt’s opening testimony, the former Google CEO will tell Congress that Google plays fair
“”Google generates wealth for itself, he writes, but even more in total for small businesses across America. And he portrays the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust investigation of Google, begun earlier this year, as largely the result of complaints by disgruntled competitors.””
“”Google is cooperating with the wide-ranging F.T.C. inquiry, Mr. Schmidt writes, and adds “we hope it will be conducted in a focused and fair manner so that we can continue creating jobs and building products that delight our users.”
“Google’s success is a byproduct of its corporate ethos of putting consumer interests first. Keeping up requires constant investment and innovation and if Google fails in this effort users can and will switch. The cost of going elsewhere is zero, and users can and do use other sources to find the information they want.”
“Google’s search and advertising marketplace helped generate $64 billion in economic activity for hundreds of thousands of small businesses throughout the United States.”
“In his testimony, Mr. Schmidt pointed to a long list of competitors including Microsoft’s Bing search engine, travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, restaurant review and recommendations sites like Yelp, shopping sites like Amazon and eBay, and social networks like Facebook. “Consumers,” he writes, “have a truly vast array of options – some search and some note – from which to access information.”
Mr. Schmidt further writes, “most of these complaints come from Web sites that don’t like where their site ranks on Google’s search results page or argue that in providing better answers like maps, shopping, or local results, we are hurting individual sites.”
The Internet Commerce Association sent off comments to the committee on Google and issues as they relate to domain holders but has not made the letter public.