Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt defended the company’s search practices and asked consumers to trust its methods today as lawmakers grilled him on whether the Internet search giant is squeezing out its competitors.
At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee today, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, was blunt in his accusation that Google might be “cooking the results” and consistently placing its own products high up in search results.
“Senator, I can assure you we have not cooked anything,” Schmidt said in his first-ever testimony on Capitol Hill.
Google’s dominance of the search market has caught the eye of antitrust investigators as the company has started new ventures that might compete with the same websites that it rates on its site.
“You run the racetrack, own the racetrack, you didn’t have horses for a while but now you do and your horses seem to be winning,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said, to which Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., joked that Blumenthal was suggesting, “Google might be doping the horses.”
Schmidt’s response was that “the Internet is the ultimate level playing field,” and Google is simply “like a GPS.”
He went on to say that he was “not aware of any boosts or bias” in their search algorithms and that they try to be as inclusive as possible.