Former Google CEO Fires Back in Justice Department’s Antitrust Suite


Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt offered a full-fledged defense of the search company, misleading the government’s day-to-day suite, influenced by politics and distracted by more serious issues facing the technology industry and the country. Criticized.

Mr. Schmidt, a board member of the Google Parent Alphabet Inc.

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As of last year, commented in a key interview Wednesday at the Tech Live conference of the Wall Street Journal. The longtime liberal political donor described the suit as “largely Republican-run, at the end of a presidential term whose voting indicates he is unlikely to be re-elected.”

He said that he does not believe that Google has done anything illegal.

“Somebody needs to say that,” said Mr. Schmidt, 65 years of age and visually depressed at points. “Now I am unfamiliar with corporate rules that I am no longer a board member, nor an employee. I can say what I really think. ”

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit against Google, stating that the company reserves a monopoly through anticorporate tactics. The suit specifically called for a series of agreements to make Google the default search engine on all U.S. carriers’ phones, as well as other deals that encourage mobile carriers to load Google software on their devices.

Google called the lawsuit deeply flawed and said it planned a stiff challenge.

Mr. Schmidt clarified that he, too, found the government’s argument to be misleading. “There’s a difference between dominance and excellence,” he said. He described Google as a “ruthless” competition – specifically from Microsoft Corp.

, Whose Bing search engine is far ahead of Google in search volume. He observed that while he was CEO in 2011, he closely studied the government’s decryptong antitrust case against Microsoft, and was careful to avoid tripping any wires.

“We worked really hard to avoid any illegal activity,” he said. “It is bad public policy to use mistrust to regulate.”

A Department of Justice spokesman did not immediately comment.

Mr. Schmidt maintains influence over Google. He is one of Alphabet’s largest shareholders and, along with the company’s co-founders, holds exclusive shares that render him inconsistent in the company’s decision making. He said in the interview that he had not yet spoken to Google officials about the suit.

He made several suggestions to policy makers where they could spend their time instead of examining their former employers.

“The most obvious candidate for regulation is excesses in the social-networking space,” he said. “The concept of social networks, broadly speaking as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people, is not our intention.”

He also said that the US should focus on China instead of China, as Big Tech is a big driver of the domestic economy.

“The competition between China and the United States is about to be seen,” he said.

He said the US needed to develop a cohesive strategy that identifies China as both a competitor and a partner, and that each country developing separate online ecosystems, along with the scattered internet, would be “a total disaster. is.”

Write Rob Copeland at Rob [email protected]

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