July 8, 2011

Google’s Schmidt Says ‘More Social Networks’

Google Inc. executive chairman Eric Schmidt said he believes there is room for multiple social networks.

He said while speaking to journalists at the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho that Google will cooperate fully with U.S. antitrust regulators but will not let the formal probe launched last month distract or disrupt its strategy.

Schmidt said it was too early to say how its new social network, Google Plus, was faring in the market dominated by Facebook and Twitter.

He said he would "love to have deeper integration with Twitter and Facebook."

According to Schmidt, one of the more popular features on Plus was online video chat.

He said Google's search deal with Twitter recently expired, and despite "a substantive and lengthy discussion," the companies could not agree on terms.

Schmidt told the journalists that Google's overtures to Facebook to discuss letting Plus users import Facebook friends also went nowhere.

He laid out a future with multiple sources of online identity and multiple social networks, even as critics claim Facebook's service has no room for serious competition.

Schmidt also touched on the issue of the recent hacking of email accounts with Chinese officials.

Last month, Google revealed a major hacker attack that it said originated within China.  The company said hackers tried to steal the passwords of hundreds of Google email account-holders, including those of senior government officials, Chinese activists and journalists.

"We tell the Chinese what we know ... and then they publicly deny their role. That's all I have to say about that," Schmidt told the journalists.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started a formal review of Google's business, raising concerns among investors about a lengthy, distracting probe and potential legal action.

Google runs about 69 percent of Web searches around the world.

Some say Google's desire to stand firm against government intrusion will trigger a long battle that will cause more damage than what a quick settlement would do.


Image Caption: Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google Inc., at the press conference about the e-G8 forum during the 37th G8 summit in Deauville, France. (Credit: Guillaume Paumier/Wikimedia Commons)


On the Net: