This may come as a surprise to many, but Google finds Amazon to be its biggest competitor in online search. Of all the competing services, including its traditional rival Yahoo, and Microsoft’s Bing, the search giant finds the e-commerce juggernaut Amazon to be its biggest competitor, Google chairman Eric Schmidt told an audience in Berlin on Monday.Schmidt admits that his pick is strange, and acknowledges that Amazon.com is indeed more focused on commerce, “but, at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are,” he said. Google is the most popular site on the Internet, with around 233.1 million unique visitors for all its sites, according to ComScore’s media report for the month of August. Amazon, on the hand, ranks sixth on the list, attracting roughly 172 million unique visitors.
On several occasions, Schmidt has noted how users have a choice to pick their search engines, and nobody is forcing them to pick Google. “We aren’t a telecommunications network or an electricity grid, with only one line going to your home, and no competitors allowed. No one is stuck using Google,” Schmidt said. Google has been accused of favoring its own services in the search results over its competing companies. For this reason it is facing antitrust investigations in Europe since 2010. The company reached a term with the European Commission earlier this year, but is required to improve the settlement terms or will have to face charges.
He also said that while Google controlled around 90 percent of the online search market, he is way of the “next Google.” “Someone, somewhere in a garage is gunning for us. I know, because not long ago we were in that garage. Change comes from where you least expect it,” Schmidt said.