Google Faces Scrutiny From Senate Antitrust Panel

Washington is watching Google.

Senator Herb Kohl, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights announced his agenda for the new session of Congress, and Google is on the list of what the committee plans to examine.

In a section called "Competition in Online Markets/Internet Search Issues," Google is called out for their dominance in online search, and their forays into ecommerce. The full description noted:

Access to the wealth of information and e-commerce on the Internet is essential for consumers and business alike. As the Internet continues to grow in importance to the national economy, businesses and consumers, the Subcommittee will strive to ensure that this sector remains competitive, that Internet search is fair to its users and customers, advertisers have sufficient choices, and that consumers' privacy is guarded. In recent years, the dominance over Internet search of the world's largest search engine, Google, has increased and Google has increasingly sought to acquire e-commerce sites in myriad businesses. In this regard, we will closely examine allegations raised by e-commerce websites that compete with Google that they are being treated unfairly in search ranking, and in their ability to purchase search advertising. We also will continue to closely examine the impact of further acquisitions in this sector.

Google has already come under antitrust scrutiny in Europe.