Google Targeted (Again) For Antitrust Oversight Hearings

    March 11, 2011

Google’s best lawyers may want to start packing their bags for Washington, D.C. Today, Senator Mike Lee called for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee to conduct an oversight hearing, and Lee identified Google as the sole target.

That means Lee, a Republican from Utah, joined Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin, in expressing concern about Google’s dominance. Only where Kohl just mentioned Google three times in a press release that also touched on prescription drugs, agriculture, healthcare, and many other things, Lee’s statement was rather more aggressive.

Without actually accusing the search giant of wrongdoing, Lee said, “Google’s position as the preeminent search engine may be abused so as to disadvantage competing vertical search sites to the detriment of advertisers and internet users.”

Later, Lee also suggested, “Google’s powerful position as an Internet gatekeeper reduces the company’s incentive to compete with other search engines by providing enhanced privacy protection for consumers.”

Those are some serious topics. That means Google’s reputation could be in real danger, since inquiries on a national stage could stir up all sorts of suspicions, regardless of the senators’ findings.

Indeed, it’s possible the process has already started, considering Google’s stock fell 0.57 percent today while the Dow and Nasdaq rose 0.50 percent and 0.54 percent, respectively.

We’ll be sure to report if any other major politicians take a stand on Google’s possible antitrust violations.