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Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, isn’t “dominant” and competes against companies including Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a written response to lawmakers’ questions.
“Google has many strong competitors,” Schmidt said in answers released today by the Senate antitrust subcommittee. “Google has none of the characteristics that I associate with market power.”
The Federal Trade Commission is conducting an antitrust investigation into whether Google is harming competition. The government is seeking to determine whether Google is dominant enough to control prices and exclude competitors, which would put it in violation of antitrust laws.
Google is seeking “to obfuscate the relevant market issues and just say that everything in the world competes with Google,” said Robert Lande, a University of Baltimore law professor. “I think they’re going to lose on that issue, but of course they’re going to try.”
In a Sept. 21 subcommittee hearing, Schmidt conceded that Google fits one of the criteria needed to legally determine whether it has the power to quash competition. Schmidt said Mountain View, California-based Google is “in that area” of having a monopoly market share in Internet search.
Later in the hearing, Susan Creighton, a partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC who represents Google, said in prepared comments that “Google’s apparent ‘bigness’ obscures the fact that it lacks anything resembling monopoly power.”
Also at the hearing, lawmakers questioned whether the company was providing unbiased Internet search results.
Google Inc., the world’s biggest search-engine company, increased its U.S. market share to 65.3 percent in September, up from 64.8 percent in August, as Yahoo! Inc. dropped to less than 16 percent, according to ComScore Inc., a Reston, Virginia market research firm.
--With assistance from Brian Womack in San Francisco. Editors: Justin Blum, Fred Strasser
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