Schmidt Doesn't Know Why Google's Being Investigated
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt spent this week in Brussels meeting with European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia. Slate.fr caught up with him for an interview.
When asked “What was the purpose of your trip in Brussels?” Schmidt responded “They have not told us what they have found they are asking. They’ve been asking for a year, but they have not told us yet what their concerns are. It was a pleasant meeting, but he didn’t say anything, he didn’t say, “I don’t like this, I don’t like that, you have to change this”… I have no idea.”
No idea? Too bad there isn’t some place that lays it out in clear detail… Oh wait, there is.
Schmidt continued, “I also have no idea in the United States. We are waiting. We believe our operations are legal under European and U.S. law, but we are happy to talk to the regulators on any subject to confirm our understanding, to see if they disagree. My own view is that this is largely a legal matter. I was asked to testify in Congress; I did that in October [it was actually September]. We’ve said what we think, but we’re waiting on them.”
Chairman Schmidt, since you seem to have conveniently forgotten the concerns raised in the Senate’s follow-up questions to you after your testimony, we’ve done a little research for you. Here’s the highlights reel.
Schmidt takes some jabs at both Yelp, who testified against Google at the Senate hearing, and FairSearch.org-member Foundem, the UK-based shopping comparison site that coined the term “search neutrality” and filed a complaint against Google with the European Commission back in February 2010. He also reiterated the importance of Google+ to the company’s future, explaining “We need the information about yourself and your friends to make our products work better.”
And by “products,” of course, Schmidt means advertising. In the end, that’s what Google’s “search” business is all about. (Shh… no one tell Google Founders Larry and Sergey who wrote this back in the day.)