What Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman told the Senate antitrust panel about Google
As feared, the Senate hearings Wednesday on "The Power of Google: Serving Customers or Threatening Competition?" barely scratched the surface.
What Google (GOOG) did to Apple (AAPL) -- copying Apple's touchscreen operating system and offering it to Apple's competitors for free -- never came up. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) used much of their time to suck up to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, practically begging him to bring Google's fiber-to-the-home experiment to their states.
But for viewers who stuck around for the full three-hour hearing (available on C-Span here), one message was clear: As Google has grown to achieve monopoly-scale control of Internet search, its mission has changed. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman put it most succinctly:
"Let's be clear. Google is no longer in the business of sending users to the best sources of information on the Web. It now hopes to become a destination site itself for one vertical market after another, including news, shopping, travel, and now, local business reviews. It would be one thing if these efforts were conducted on a level playing field, but the reality is they're not."
For me, the testimony of Yelp's Stoppelman and Nextag CEO Jeff Katz was the most compelling, because it came from Web-based entrepreneurs who know all too well how the game is played.
Here's the crux of the story Stoppelman told the senators: More
The Senate hearings scheduled for Wednesday will only scratch the surface
Apple (AAPL) is conspicuously absent from the witness list for Wednesday's hearing on "The Power of Google" before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Rights. Yelp! and Nextag will be represented, but Google (GOOG) has stepped on a lot more toes than theirs to maintain and extend its dominance of the Internet's sustaining source of revenue -- advertising MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 19, 2011 7:38 AM ET
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