Vodafone CEO Warns Of Google Dominance

    February 16, 2010

The world’s second largest mobile operator is not pleased with Google’s dominance in the search and advertising market.  In fact, Vodafone’s CEO implied in a recent speech that regulators might want to act sooner rather than later to prevent an irreversible monopoly from forming.

According to Michelle Donegan, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao showed during his keynote address at the Mobile World Congress that many companies compete within different parts of the mobile sphere.  Then he presented a slide related to search and advertising with just Google’s and Yahoo’s names on it.

Colao stated at that point, "In search and advertising management, there is 70 percent to 80 percent, maybe more, concentration [of players].  From a policy perspective, this should be looked into.  We need to ensure choice and avoid concentration before it’s too late."

This could be bad news for Google.  Colao’s corporation isn’t some small firm with a skewed view of the market (it has a market cap of $115 billion and owns 45 percent of Verizon), and his decision to criticize the search giant at such a public moment indicates that he’s quite serious about taking it down a couple of notches.

As for Google’s side of things, Eric Schmidt is supposed to speak later today at the Mobile World Congress, so we may get to hear an executive-level rebuttal.