September 29, 2005
Google Ends Boycott of News.com
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google Inc. (GOOG)'s boycott of News.com appears to have ended quietly, less than three months after company executives told the technology news site that they would stop speaking with its reporters for a year.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt granted an interview this week to News.com's Elinor Mills, the reporter whose article in July about privacy issues raised by Google's search engine apparently offended the company.
For her July story, Mills went looking for details on Schmidt to illustrate the kind of information available through Google. She noted in the piece that his net worth was $1.5 billion, that he donated $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee and that he had attended the Burning Man counterculture festival.
She also included a link to a site where Schmidt's home address could be found.
A Google spokesman and Mills declined to comment Wednesday. Jai Singh, editor at News.com, owned by CNET Networks Inc. (CNET) did not return phone calls.
In July, Singh said Google's interview ban had forced News.com to run a disclaimer on any articles about Google explaining why Google executives weren't being quoted. Pundits and columnists in the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and Detroit Free Press then accused Schmidt of taking a "hypocritical" stance and even fearing his own company's technology.
After all, most citizens have no way of protecting their information from Google, they said, so why should Schmidt?
The Mills' story this week that quoted Schmidt dealt with the size of Google's index of Web pages, which the company said was three times larger than that of its nearest competitor.