Top legal counsel for Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft will address a Congressional hearing Tuesday, as lawmakers examine the Yahoo-Google search advertising agreement and its potential anticompetitive effects on the future of Internet advertising.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcomittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will call Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan, and Google chief legal officer David Drummond to testify as witnesses.
Lawmakers, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, are examining whether Google's dominant market share in text ads that appear next to search results would raise antitrust issues, should it team up with the industry's No. 2 player Yahoo in the third-party advertising agreement.
Yahoo and Google have previously defended their agreement, noting the arrangement is flexible and would allow Yahoo to decide which, how often, and where Google's text ads would appear. Microsoft, however, contends it will raise prices for advertisers and further erode Yahoo's No. 2 position in search advertising as more of it goes to Google.
Other witnesses who will testify at the hearing include Matthew Crowley, chief marketing officer for Yellowpages.com, and Tim Carter, chief executive of Askthebuilder.com.