Google chairman Eric Schmidt has named Amazon as the company's biggest rival in search.
In a speech given in Berlin, the Google executive gave Google's traditional search competitors a stinging slap.
"Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo," he said, "but, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon."
He pointed out that internet users were likely to go straight to Amazon if they wished to buy any goods, rather than initiating a general web search for the products they're after.
Schmidt also pointed to the power of Facebook, stating that "the most popular app in the world – including in Europe – is Facebook, a company which now describes itself as the on-ramp to the internet."
Continuing his theme, Schmidt claimed that a large proportion of web users go direct to news outlets for their news rather than using Google. He used the example of Germany's own Bild, the most widely read newspaper in Europe, which "gets around 70 per cent of its traffic directly."
If Schmidt's tone sounds defensive here, it's because he was speaking in response to criticisms of Google's excessive market power. There has been sustained pressure in Europe in recent years to regulate the American search giant more stringently.
Schmidt's comments come as a four year European Commission investigation into Google's search practices nears its conclusion, the court having refused Google's offer to settle the case on three occasions.
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Via: Financial Times