Last week a congressional panel brought together small business representatives to discuss the growing dominance of Google and Yahoo when it comes to Web ads.
The two search engines, with Google clearly at the forefront, pretty much are the only real choices business owners have if they want to hawk their wares on the Web.
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez D-Texas, chairman of subcommittee that held the hearing, questioned whether new laws are needed to make sure small firms don't get pummeled in what is shaping up to be a Web advertising monopoly.
But after listening to the hearing on YouTube it seemed like none of the so-called small business representatives were all that worried about the Google ad gorilla.
A lot of the testimony was about how great Google and Yahoo are when it comes to innovation.
The harshest words seem to come from the politicians.
This is from a statement released by Gonzales' office on the day of the hearings: "A principal challenge for small businesses is gaining prime spots on the Web pages of search engines. Because media giants such as Google and Yahoo dominate the online advertising field, their policies can dictate online strategy for small companies."
I e-mailed congressional staffer Jaime Zapata about the lack of small business outrage. I figured maybe I missed that part of the hearing.
"I couldn't find any witnesses that are worried about Google and Yahoo's dominance," I wrote. "Did I miss this?"
"I'd say that's a fair read on the hearing," Zapata replies. "Concern yes. ... call for regulation—not so much. Some highlighting of the importance of a diverse e-business model, but all in all—no Google- or Yahoo-bashing."
Even Gonzales seemed perplexed.
"Maybe we don't have to do anything, but I think we have to watch it carefully," he said during the hearing. "The basic principle in Washington we adhere to, and that is competition is a good thing."
Gonzales even quoted Rob Pegoraro, the Fast Forward columnist at the Washington Post, to make his point:
"It's not that Google is some tyrannical monopolist that must be brought to justice. This company has come to dominate the markets for Web search, advertising and many other services fairly, by providing quality products at a fair price (which, for most Web users, is free). It's moved when others have stood still: Imagine, for instance, how limited Web-mail and online mapping would be if Google hadn't reinvented each category earlier this decade.
"But that doesn't mean that I want it to run away with the rest of the market. It's fundamentally unhealthy for any one company, even one that claims to have 'Don't Be Evil' stamped on its corporate DNA, to amount to the crossroads of the Internet."
Maybe the whole Web-advertising arena is just too new, and maybe things are happening just too quickly.
Small business owners' heads are spinning when it comes to this new world.
Few people could have predicted early on how Microsoft would come to dominate the world of personal computing.
Google may not be thumping its chest right now, but all gorillas have to eventually, no?
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)