Google's grilling before the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee ended Wednesday evening with a simple and cryptic thank you for the valuable information and light shed on this "very important topic," said committee chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.).
The Washington Post reported Schmidt, a first timer to speaking on the Hill, defended the ethics of Google's algorithm used in searches and other business practices. Schmidt said he "believed" the algorithm used is unbiased. To which, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) responded, “If you don’t know, who does?” The Washington Post has more:
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who has battled Google in the past as a state attorney general, summed it up this way: “First you ran the racetrack, then you owned the racetrack. You own the horses now, and your horses are winning.”
Schmidt responded that the Internet is a platform and that Google is like a GPS system and doesn’t control access to the Web.
The company does, however, control its own search rankings, which were a key issue in the hearing. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) questioned whether the company was “cooking the results” to ensure that Google-related results appeared consistently in product searches.
“Senator, I can assure you we have not cooked anything,” Schmidt said.
Some of Google's rivals, such as Yelp and Nextag, believing Google gives its own services preference in searches were in attendance and testified at the hearing. USA Today has more:
"Google rigs those results," Nextag CEO Jeffery Katz said.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said, "Let's be clear: Google is no longer in the business of sending people to the best destinations on the web. It has everything to do with generating more revenue."
Here are a more highlights from the hearing.
Mashable collected some notable quotes:
Watch the Associated Press report: