Eric Schmidt on Microsoft-Verizon Talks

Microsoft is elbowing in on Google’s potential deal with Verizon Communications, The Wall Street Journal reported, just as the search giant’s advertising deal with Yahoo! fell apart. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in an interview with Cramer Friday evening, said he wasn’t surprised by his archrival’s move at all.

Microsoft and Google are vying to be Verizon’s default search engine on the company’s wireless phones. But the opportunity in the mobile space is “huge,” Schmidt said, adding, “it’s a big place for all of us.”

Google’s been in discussions for months with Verizon, but now Microsoft is trying to thwart the deal by offering a better revenue-sharing agreement and higher payments to the telco firm. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who Cramer also interviewed Friday, said that while his company has yet to make a decision, one should be coming “soon.”

Schmidt also explained why Google was forced to drop its advertising deal with Yahoo!, citing trust concerns from the Department of Justice. The DOJ had vowed to sue if the deal were pursued.

“From our standpoint,” Schmidt said, “it didn’t make any sense.”

The Google CEO was in Chicago Friday for a meeting with President-Elect Barack Obama and his transition economic advisory board. When Cramer asked if he would take a job as the country’s chief technology czar, Schmidt said no, “Google is its own exciting opportunity.”

Watch the video to hear more from Schmidt on Google’s plan for U.S. energy independence, what kind of stimulus package the U.S. needs right now and why companies should be spending more on advertising during this downturn rather than cutting back.

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