Consumer Watchdog Asks Senate Antitrust Committee to Require Google CEO Larry Page to Testify; Group Cites DOJ Investigation That Found He Condoned Illegal Activity
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Citing recent revelations that Google CEO Larry Page condoned Google’s criminal violation of laws prohibiting the importation of drugs to U.S. consumers by Canadian pharmacies, Consumer Watchdog called on the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee to require him to testify at its planned hearing in September.
The Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee plans to hold a hearing, “The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition” on Sept. 21.
“Recent revelations that Page knew of and condoned Google’s criminal violation of laws prohibiting the importation of drugs to U.S. consumers by Canadian pharmacies make his appearance imperative,” wrote John M. Simpson, director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit group’s Privacy Project in a letter to committee Chairman Herb Kohl and Ranking Member Mike Lee.
Read Consumer Watchdog’s letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrkohl083111.pdf
Consumer Watchdog noted that Peter Neronha, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney who led the investigation, told The Wall Street Journal:
“Larry Page knew what was going on. We know it from the investigation. We simply know it from the documents we reviewed, witnesses that we interviewed, that Larry Page knew what was going on.”
Consumer Watchdog’s letter continued:
“Flouting the law for six years and enabling others to use its search engine to break U.S. law shows a remarkable arrogance. It raises real questions about how seriously Google and its executives take other legal responsibilities. Specifically, such an attitude is highly relevant to Google’s attitude toward competition and antitrust law. If the company was involved in illegal drug sales to boost ad revenue, it likely wouldn’t shrink from illegal anticompetitive behavior to grow revenue either.”
When the Antitrust Subcommittee first announced its plan to hold a hearing on Google, the company declined to send a top executive. It was only under the threat of a subpoena that Google agreed that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would appear. Consumer Watchdog appreciates the committee’s position and has long called for Schmidt to appear to testify under oath.
Now, Larry Page, the current CEO, has been identified as knowing of blatantly illegal activity and allowing it.
“That brazen arrogance requires that he personally explain his past actions and how Google will comply with antitrust law going forward,” wrote Simpson. “As part of the agreement with the DOJ, the emails and documents demonstrating the extent of Google’s illegal activity have been sealed. We urge you to subpoena them and make them part of the record so the public knows exactly what happened. Larry Page is in charge at Google now and we urge you to require his testimony along with Schmidt’s under a subpoena if necessary.”
Consumer Watchdog is a non-partisan public interest organization with offices in Santa Monica, CA and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog