Google's under so much scrutiny for so many reasons right now, some are saying when it comes to government investigations, it could be the new Microsoft . Eric Schmidt was impressively upfront when it comes to investigations and lawsuits.
He said that now they expect the government to examine everything they do. He says they're confident because they believe they're benefiting the consumer, and the fact that everything they do is open source necessarily makes it open to competition. "We have a role to play and they have a role to play, we respect their role." He also said something very measured that shifted the attention back to their rivals, perhaps even including Microsoft. All the comments about potential anti-competitive issues, he says it's the competitors that are planting those thoughts.
When it comes to Schmidt's take on the new administration he's as supportive as ever. (He's a member of Obama's economic advisory board). While Warren Buffett told me he thinks we need more stimulus. Schmidt says it's too soon to say. With such a small percentage of the $800 billion already spent, he wants to give it another three months before he can say how well it's working.
As to the economy, Schmidt says the worst is behind us, but it's unclear how what the recovery will look like. Schmidt says this is "the new normal". Tighter inventories, tighter credit, companies keeping more cash on hand.... This is what we're looking at for a while, and everyone should get used to it, he says. And while Google announces earnings next week and he couldn't give any details, he did say its business isn't immune from the global ad slowdown.
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