Google Cries Bing and Yelp Yelps, as Senate Antitrust Hearings Commence Today
Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.
Later today, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will appear at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee for hearings on whether Google is a search bully or not.
Schmidt, according to written testimony obtained by the Politico blog, will be trotting out the company’s longtime argument that its competitors are “only one click away” from taking Google down.
And, in what can only be described as a you’ve-got-to-be-kidding furthering of that meme, Schmidt will apparently claim that Microsoft’s much tinier Bing search service could catch and pass Google by next year.
Reads the testimony, according to Politico: “Microsoft’s Bing launched in June 2009 and has grown so rapidly that some commentators have speculated that it could overtake Google as early as 2012.”
Say what? Say ridonkulous! The Facebook worry, I get, but costing-Microsoft-a-billion-a-quarter Bing?
That’s because in the most recent market-share report from comScore, Google had 64.8 percent of the total, with Yahoo at 16.3 percent and Bing at 14.7 percent. Even combining the pair — who are currently in a search partnership — they still have less than half the share that Google has.
In any case, although the Google-as-imminently-threatened concept displays a lot of gumption, it’ll be interesting watching Schmidt try to sell it.
And also to see Google’s critics call foul.
After Schmidt appears, there will be a second panel, featuring Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman; Jeffrey Katz, CEO of Nextag; and Tom Barnett, spokesman for FairSearch.org and counsel to Expedia.
Stoppelman, who almost sold his online reviews company to Google in late 2009, has since become a vocal detractor of the search giant’s methods.
In his testimony as well as exhibits, all posted below, Stoppelman paints a more dire picture of Google:
“When one company controls the market, it ultimately controls consumer choice. If competition really were just ‘one click away’ as Google suggests, why have they invested so heavily to be the default choice on web browsers and mobile phones? Clearly they are not taking any chances.”
Stay tuned for my liveblog at 11 am PT, as well as other AllThingsD coverage of the hearings.