Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, asked Google's Drummond how the company can complain about the lack of broadband providers when its merger could create a dominant Internet advertising provider.
Companies wishing to advertise online have "many, many choices," Drummond said, while most consumers have the choice of one or two broadband providers.
But Hatch also suggested to Microsoft's Smith that Google could lose advertising marketshare if a better search engine comes along. "Where is the antitrust problem?" he said. "Why not just build a better product?"
The online advertising market is consolidating rapidly, Smith said. Companies wishing to advertise online will soon be left with one to three choices, he predicted.