Google lacks market power, says Schmidt

Modest, a glass-half-full sort of guy – or someone that’s been ticked off by his lawyers? Google chairman Eric Schmidt has told a Senate antitrust subcommittee that Google doesn’t dominate the search market.

The company has a market share of 65 percent, according to figures from ComScore – and that share is still increasing. Nevertheless, reports Bloomberg, Schmidt wrote to the committee, “Google has many strong competitors… Google has none of the characteristics that I associate with market power.”

Schmidt’s taking a rather more assertive line than he managed in September. When asked by Senator Herb Kohl whether the company had a moonopoly or dominant position, he agreed that it was ‘in that area’.

Schmidt’s now described that description as ‘clearly wrong’, according to the Daily Telegraph. In his statement, he labels Apple’s Siri digital assistant as a ‘Google killer’.

“Apple’s Siri is a significant development — a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search,” he writes.

“Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information.”

The new document is the company’s response to questions from the subcommittee following that September hearing, and forms part of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) anti-trust investigation. The FTC is investigating allegations that Google manipulates its search results in order to beef up traffic to its own sites.