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Google goes to Washington

John Moe Sep 19, 2011

On Wednesday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt will testify before a Senate antitrust panel. Notably, Yelp will also be there and will likely yelp about how Google’s massively dominant search engine takes Yelp content and repurposes it in search results. One can see a pattern in Google’s behavior against competition: try to acquire and if that doesn’t work, copy. Google had tried to buy Yelp, didn’t work, so they created Google Places. Same thing with Groupon and Google Offers. Google couldn’t buy the iPhone but a lot of people think they copied it in making the Android system. Couldn’t buy all the travel sites but they did buy ITA, the software that runs all travel sites.

So does that make Google a monopoly? Is it unfairly trying to crush competition?

The Wall Street Journal compares Bill Gates’ testimony in 1993 to Google’s of the present-day. Maybe Schmidt’s team has learned a thing or two from the past. For one, Google “has given thought to the staging of the event. According to people familiar with the matter, it successfully sought to have Mr. Schmidt appear alone at the hearing, instead of having to share the spotlight with other witnesses,” as was the case with the earlier Microsoft hearings.

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