Google chairman Schmidt agrees to testify at Senate antitrust hearing

Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has agreed to testify at a September hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Antitrust subpanel.

Google had earlier declined an invitation from the subcommittee’s leadership to send Schmidt or CEO Larry Page to the hearing, prompting speculation over whether the panel would subpoena them to answer questions about the search giant’s core business. 

{mosads}”Senators Kohl and Lee expressed a strong desire to have our executive chairman appear in front of the subcommittee and we’re happy to accommodate them,” said a Google spokesperson via email.

“We appreciate their willingness to work with us to make it happen this Fall.”

The Federal Trade Commission recently opened a broad probe into allegations Google uses its dominance of the search market to boost its own services.

Subcommittee ranking member Mike Lee (R-Utah) said acknowledged Google’s reversal on the issue with a statement Friday afternoon.

“I’m pleased that Mr. Schmidt has agreed to testify at the Antitrust Subcommittee hearing,” Lee said. “I look forward to discussing a number of important issues relating to Google and Internet search competition.”

Google is facing congressional scrutiny on a number of fronts currently, including complaints of anticompetitive behavior and concerns about privacy involving Google’s Android smartphone platform. The search giant recently hired a dozen new lobbying firms to relay its message to lawmakers.

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