Answering questions thrown at him from Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, Google’s Eric Schmidt was goaded into admitting the search engine giant was getting dangerously close to the antitrust cliff edge.
Google talks monopolyWhen asked if he would agree that Google’s market share put it “in the area” of a monopoly Schmidt answered, “I agree we’re in that area but we’d have to let the judges look.”
But if the former CEO and current Chairman of the company agrees Google might be a monopoly, it would be rather odd for the judges to find otherwise, we’d imagine.
Not that being classed as a monopoly is a kiss of death, it just means the firm has to be a lot more careful in terms of how it conducts business so as not to violate antitrust law.
Microsoft made that mistake ten years ago and has had to pay through the nose for it – and defend its right to remain intact as a company – ever since. Schmidt said Google had learned from Microsoft’s mistakes, which, to be fair, is how a good game of monopoly should be played.
For its part, the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) said today’s hearing raised “serious questions” about Google’s monopoly power, with Executive Director Morgan Reed noting “With all the evidence we’ve seen of Google abusing its dominant position to limit competition, it’s clear that all options are on the table for regulators to move forward to ensure a level playing field.”