June 23, 2011

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Google Inc. (GOOG)’s reluctance to provide a top executive for testimony to a Senate panel probing its market power has prompted threats of subpoenas for Chief Executive Officer Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt.

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In a letter dated June 10, the Democratic chairman and leading Republican on the antitrust subcommittee asked Google to provide one of the company’s two senior executives before Congress’s August recess. The letter urged a resolution “by agreement” to avoid “more formal procedures,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by Bloomberg News.

The threat of subpoenas is one of the ways the committee is pressuring Mountain View, California-based Google to send Page or Schmidt, according to two people familiar with negotiations between the panel and the company. The possibility of subpoenas was discussed with Google in connection with the letter, the people said. The letter asked Google to respond by June 15.

Subpoenas would require approval by the full Senate Judiciary Committee.

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