UK is the world leader in e-commerce: Google’s Schmidt

Google's former chief executive officer reveals the U.K. is leading the way in e-commerce.
Google's former chief executive officer reveals the U.K. is leading the way in e-commerce   

The United Kingdom is leading the way in e-commerce, not the United States, Google's former chief executive has revealed.

"Britain is the leader in e-commerce in the world, far ahead of the United States," Eric Schmidt told BBC Radio 4's "Today" show, which was broadcast Wednesday.

Speaking on the radio show, Alphabet's current executive chairman said that the country had nothing to stop itself from building "hundred billion pound companies."

"Britain has every aspect that it needs to build billion pound, ten billion pound, hundred billion pound companies. You have the right regulatory environment."

"You've got the right role within the (European) continent. (Just) look at the e-commerce plays and service plays that are now happening in London."

While Schmidt believes the U.K. can excel, he admitted there is a "widely discussed" view that British entrepreneurs often sell up earlier than U.S. businessmen. If someone has a "strong (growing) franchise," it's most likely better to wait before selling, he added.

For anyone looking to create a lucrative small start-up now, the "only thing that matters is the product quality," Schmidt said.

And why stop at just the U.K.? Schmidt believes the continent itself has no obstacles standing in its path from creating "a European-scale corporation that is larger than a U.S.-scale corporation."

"Europe is pushing on a European digital single market and in the timeframe of you building a small start-up, the Europeans will figure out a way of building a single digital market for your products."

For more on Eric Schmidt's interview with the BBC, click here.

By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy and @CNBCi