The chairman of Google has delivered a snub to the firm’s competitors by naming e-commerce site Amazon as the search engine’s biggest rival in a surprising speech in Berlin on Monday.
Ignoring search rivals Yahoo and Bing, Schmidt claimed that Google is combating Amazon for superiority in the search market.
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, said: “Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon.
"People don't think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon.”
He added: “They are obviously more focused on the commerce side of the equation, but, at their roots, they are answering users' questions and searches, just as we are.”
Schmidt claimed that Google competed with Facebook, which dominates the mobile platform, and Amazon which controls a substantial share of the e-commerce market.
He concluded: “The reality is that Google works very differently from other companies that have been called gatekeepers and regulated as such, no one is stuck using Google.”
The statement came as Google defended itself against a newly reopened European anti-trust investigation into it advertising business.