Media consolidation, net neutrality and “Google’s dominance in Internet search are among the issues the Senate’s leading legislator on antitrust issues plans to scrutinize in the months ahead,” POLITICO reports.
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), who heads the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, listed those issues as priorities in an announcement Thursday outlining his top concerns for the 112th Congress.
Kohl specifically called out Google as a potential cause for concern. The senator in December urged the Justice Department to conduct a "careful review" of the search giant’s attempted acquisition of travel search software firm ITA.
"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," Kohl said in a news release.
"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,” Kohl continued. “We also will continue to closely examine the impact of further acquisitions in this sector."
Update: Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is also pressing for hearings on Google.