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Consolidation in the search engine industry poses a serious threat to the quality of information available to citizens and scientists and to the ability of individuals and organizations to exercise the right of free speech. It makes little difference whether there is a monopoly of one or an oligopoly of three search engine companies. In either case, there is a need for oversight or regulation, or for increased search engine competition. If a "natural monopoly" on searches exists, the public interest would best be served by government oversight; if a monopoly or oligopoly is not natural to the provisioning of search technology, competition should be stimulated and nurtured. However, if market forces do not work to inhibit monopoly or oligopoly, controls should be imposed on the dominant firms. Such control could take the form of regular performance testing to ensure unbiased search results and the absence of impediments to the exercise of free speech.