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Schmidt: Google isn't a monopoly

“I would disagree that Google is dominant [in search].” That’s what Google's former CEO, and now Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, said in a statement to the to the Senate antitrust subcommittee, a response to questions posed by senator's since Google's September 21st hearing.

In response to a question from Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) as to whether or not it was fair to characterize Google as a monopoly. “By... hiring extremely talented engineers and working very, very hard... Google has been blessed with a great deal of success,” Schmidt said.

He went on to say that Google's market share was actually smaller than the estimates given by analysts. “Google has many competitors that are not general search engines, including specialized search engines, social networks, and mobile apps... Inferring that Google is in any way 'dominant' in search would be incorrect.” In response to a question as to whether or not Google faced competition in search, he said that Microsoft's Bing had already reached the size that Google was in 2007. “Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo! Today handle millions more queries than Google did in 2003.”

These statements come from a lengthy document released by the Senate subcommittee and available on Google Docs, a response to follow-up questions from lawmakers after a Sept. 21 hearing. At that hearing, Schmidt said that Google did fit one of the legal criteria that determines whether or not a business is considered a monopoly.

FairSearch.org, a group of companies including competitor Microsoft, said that Schmidt had failed to respond to the Senator's questions. “Schmidt continued to thumb his nose at senators' concerns about how Google exploits its monopoly power,” the group said in a statement. “Schmidt's answers show a lack of respect for the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, the nation's antitrust laws, and the importance of competition and innovation to the U.S. Economy..."

Asked whether or not they were collecting any data from smart phone users, Schmidt said that “Google respects our user's privacy,” Schmidt replied. He provided links to Google's privacy policy to describe the types of information Google collects from mobile devices.

“'Trust us is no longer an acceptable answer to serious questions about how Google uses its monopoly power to entrench its own dominance and hurt consumers, advertisers and other innovators,” FairSearch.org's statement said. “Google's denial of its own monopoly power is not only laughable, but proof that the Senate and federal, state and international law enforcement agencies must continue to search for the truth about how Google uses its enormous power to advantage itself and hurt competitors trying to reach consumers on the internet.”

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