Google Girds for a Grilling

Google Inc. is taking no chances as its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, prepares to face a Senate hearing Wednesday on whether the company is abusing its dominance in Internet search.

Hoping to fend off any antitrust action, Google has hired at least 13 lobbying and communications firms since May, when the Federal Trade Commission ramped up its probe of the Internet giant. Firms led by figures from both parties—including former House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt and the son of Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar—are going to bat for the company.

Looming over this week’s proceedings will be rival Microsoft Corp., whose former chief executive, Bill Gates, faced his own congressional grilling on March 3, 1998.

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