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:
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:
Google softened its stance, according to Stoppelman, only after the FTC announced an antitrust investigation, the states’ attorneys general took notice, and the Senate antitrust committee proposed this hearing.
The text of Stoppelman’s written testimony is available here.