Stoppelman questioned if Yelp could succeed today, under Google's current practices. Asked if he'd start Yelp in the current environment, Stoppelman said, "I'd find something else to do."
But Google users can easily choose another search engine or other services, if they don't like the end results, said Susan Creighton, a partner with the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati law firm and an antitrust adviser to Google. Amazon.com provides a huge product search service and Facebook has a large local advertising service, she said.
"It's free and instantaneous to try someone else's search results," she said.
Creighton, the former chief antitrust enforcer at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, warned senators about attempting to tell Google how to deliver search results. Government interference could turn Google's search results into a "regulated utility," she said.
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