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Dotcom Bubble CEO: Why I passed on buying Google

Google stock priced displayed at Nasdaq
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In 1999, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were looking to sell Google to search engine Excite for about $750,000. But Excite's CEO George Bell passed on the offer.

"It's very easy to look back and say should have, could have, and would have. I think the decision we made at the time, with what we knew, was a good decision. It's laughable to say that now, I suppose," said Bell on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report."

Bell, currently with General Catalyst Partners, recalls Google's asking price between $250,000 to $500,000 and 1% of Excite. He says the issue was not in the financial terms but in the larger deal points.

"Larry page insisted that we have to rip out all of the Excite search technology and replace it with Google," Bell said.


"I chose culture over opportunity." -George Bell, Fmr. Excite CEO

Bell says culture was more important than opportunity.

"When you think about running companies, you think about culture, the people, the products, and the growth as being central to your identity and opportunity. At the end of the day, that's what I prioritized," Bell added.

Now, Bell said he thinks Google is a machine and game changing company.