Eric Schmidt, the executive chairmen and former chief executive of search engine giant Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) will testify before Congress on September 21, reportedly to discuss the company’s business practices and competition.
Schmidt, who served as CEO for ten years prior to the ascension of Larry Page in April, will speak before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights in Washington D.C.
The title of the hearing will be "The Power of Google: Serving Customers or Threatening Competition?"
Google has faced a number of questions about its practices, including the alleged lack of privacy of its Street View feature.
The chairman of the Senate subcommittee Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) will likely explore how much power Google has and whether it has unfairly prevented smaller rivals for getting a bigger piece of the search engine pie. According to reports, Google enjoys a 65 percent market share in the U.S. and even higher figures in foreign countries.
Initially, when Kohl requested that either Page or Schmidt appear before his committee, Google insisted that its chief legal officer David Drummond appear instead. In response, Kohl warned he would subpoena the executives – Google finally agreed to send Schmidt.
According to reports, FairSearch.org, an advocacy group, cheered news of the hearing.
"Congress is right to investigate these issues and to examine the threats that Google's unchecked dominance poses to the Internet ecosystem," FairSearch.org said in a statement.