Schmidt: Google Dominant? Heck, We’re Just One Slip Away From Oblivion!
Google may be the largest provider of search services around and a sprawling Internet giant, but it’s also a company fighting for its very survival in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Remarkably, that was the gist of Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s testimony before a Senate antitrust subcommittee today.
“Consumers have a truly vast array of options -– some search and some not -– from which to access information,” Schmidt told regulators, citing Amazon, Facebook and Bing — “which some commentators have speculated … could overtake Google as early as 2012” — among other examples. “And most importantly, all of these options for obtaining information can be accessed without ever using Google. … Google’s success despite strong competition is based on its persistent focus on satisfying consumers –- getting them to the answers they want quickly and accurately. 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.”
In other words, Google’s business is perpetually at risk and its dominance potentially fleeting. An interesting slice of humble pie for a company with a full two-thirds of the U.S. search market to be serving up to the committee. Does Google really expect it to buy the pitch that it’s not all that important or powerful in the industry?