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Google's CEO is overly defensive in Business Week Interview

Seems Google CEO Eric Scmidt is having his own "Nixonian" moment in a very informative interview in Business Week which accompanied the recent Business Week cover story: "Is Google too Powerful?

  • Just as former President Nixon protested to loudly in saying "I am not a crook!", Google CEO Eric Schmidt appears overly defensive in questions about Google's dominance:
    • In response to the question: "Some people feel Google is now or potentially could become too powerful in that it has such a sway over where people go online. People worry that Google could become the gateway... "
    • Schmidt responded defensively: "I disagree with essentially every half sentence here..."
  • Schmidt's "Nixonian" problem is that Google's behavior and reality are spawning this perception.
    • "People" aren't picking on Google, they are hitting on a chord that resonates with everyone.
    • "People" know Google is too powerful because it routinely behaves as the "divine king" or "emperor" of the Internet in how they treat people.
    • When they trample on and profit from other people's property, they never say they were wrong, or offer an apology, -- they only bribe people to be quiet and go away. Google euphemistically calls these bribes -- "partnerships."
      • Google is another example of the old adage: "absolute power corrupts absolutely."
  • Google's real problem is not that people "percieve" that Google is too powerful, but that it "is actually" too powerful and it routinely behaves in the marketplace in such a way that everyone knows it. 

Let me expose as bogus, Mr Schmidt's core defense of why Google is not too dominant.

  • Later in the Interview, Mr. Schmidt claims this is "all about user choice... Were a better choice to come along, we are literally one search away. This is not like proprietary lock-in models, where users are forced to use Google." 
    • Ah this is where things get interesting. Mr. Schmidt is alluding to Microsoft and how it "locked in" consumers to Windows by a lot of bundling and buying distribution...
    • Well it looks like Google has learned that  lesson all to well. 
      • Google has bought the rights for Dell to load Google as the default search engine, (just like Microsoft used to do...) becuase they know that other than sophisticated users, the vast majority of users will not change search engines. And if they do try to change search engines on new Dell computers, they will find it not as simple as Google implies.  Watch an average user try to undo it without any instruction and you will see my point.
      • Google has bought being the default search engine space from AOL, from MySpace, and YouTube, some of the most mainstream traffic rich sites in America.
      • Mr. Schmidt said: "But my point is that to say Google is too powerful implies that users are somehow making a wrong choice."  
        • Truth police moment: Dell, AOL, MySpace, and YouTube chose Google as their default search engine, NOT the user.

There is a lot more in this Business Week to further discuss, but that is for another post...

Bottomline: Google is too powerful and it is obvious to those in the industry.

  • Google is so dominant in online ads, it can't help itself from being arrogant and throwing its weight around.
  • As I have said before, the terms "Google" and "antitrust" will be used together increasingly in the future. Its Google's self-generated destiny.