The witnesses that will be appearing in front of the panel include analysts, company officials and consumer privacy experts that sit on both sides of the fence about the deal. Both Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond and Microsoft general counsel, Brad Smith are slated to testify.
Yahoo did not opt to send anyone to testify against the merger. According to the New York Post, a source familiar with the case said that there was much anticipation to have Yahoo at the hearing, but the company was not interested in publicizing its own current struggles further.
The source was quoted to say “The No.1 witness who has the most to say can’t because they would be cutting their own wrists.” However a Yahoo spokeswoman claimed that scheduling conflicts did not permit the company to appear.
Strangely enough, there are no advertisers, publishers or ad agencies slated to appear. Nor are there any larger media companies planning to attend. Executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, Jeff Chester said to The New York Post, “I’ve heard that advertising people are afraid of going against Google.”
The pairing of the leader in paid search ads (Google) with the leader in display ad serving (DoubleClick) could create a monopoly over the market, cutting off possibilities for competitors. The hearing is happening before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust.