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Facebook Investor Calls Out Google's Monopolistic Practices, Schmidt For 'Propaganda'

Earlier this week, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared in a debate at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference with Peter Thiel, an early Facebook investor. According to Bloomberg’s Tech blog, Thiel took several direct shots at Schmidt and Google’s business practices.

Thiel challenged Schmidt’s role directly, calling him “Google’s minister of propaganda.” He also described Google’s search engine as a monopoly and said “it’s quite legal to have a monopoly as long as you don’t abuse it,” but implied that Google does not always do what’s best for the consumer.

Thiel also criticized Google’s slowed pace of innovation, given the amount of cash the company has. Thiel asked, “Why don’t you spend it on doing more in tech? […] You’re out of ideas.”

This type of criticism is not new, but it’s becoming more common. Earlier this year, former Google exec James Whittaker wrote a blog post outlining why he left the company. Whittaker wrote, “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

Jeffrey Katz, the CEO of Nextag, also wrote: “More than any other company, government or regulatory body, Google has the ability to ensure that the Internet remains free, dynamic and open. But for that to happen, its directors need to change course.”

As Google faces more criticism from the business community, it is also under investigation in several countries around the world for possible violations of privacy and competition laws.