Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt will testify in front of a US Senate subcommittee on 21 September over the firm's alleged anti-competitive practices, as fresh allegations of patent infringement emerge.
The hearing, entitled The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?, will cover topics including anti-trust, competition policy and customer rights, and Schmidt is confirmed as the only witness so far.
It is also possible that Google co-founder and current chief executive Larry Page may testify, as he has already been required to do in the Java versus Android case.
Meanwhile, Google's patent infringement woes continue after new claims that the company's open source WebM format could violate the rights of 12 patent holders.
US-based licensing firm MPEG LA has asserted that patents essential to the VP8 video codec used in Google's WebM format are infringing.
Software patents expert Florian Mueller suggested that WebM could encounter the same difficulties as Android, and is unlikely to be adopted as part of the W3C standard as software must be strictly patent-free or royalty-free.
"No one can safely claim anymore at this stage that Android is a 'free' mobile operating system without making a fool of himself, given that approximately 50 patent infringement lawsuits surround Android," he said on the Foss Patents blog.
"Now Google's WebM codec project is apparently bound for a similar free-in-name-only fate as Android."
Mueller noted that a licensing agreement is a likely outcome, as MPEG LA does not file infringement action on behalf of contributors.
"If the 12 patent holders identified by MPEG LA so far (or possibly even more further down the road) join the pool, and if there are deep-pocketed organisations behind them that can afford to bring infringement actions, it's very likely that most of the alleged infringers would give serious consideration to a licence deal," he said.
Google declined to comment on the WebM case.
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