Google’s Eric Schmidt’s Bluster Against Antitrust Regulators: A Failure to Live Up to His Convictions?

In today’s New York Times, Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggests that everyone other than Google is confused, ignorant, or incorrect about how the search giant operates its online ad business. It seems in his worldview, no one–not certainly the Department of Justice–should have raised a finger of concern over its proposed alliance with Yahoo. Schmidt told the Times yesterday that “We canceled the deal with about one hour to go before a lawsuit was going to be filed against our deal. We concluded after a lot of soul-searching that it was not in our best interest to go through a lengthy and costly trial which we believe we ultimately would have won.”

If Mr. Schmidt really believed that he was right and everyone else was incorrect, he should have stood up and fought–instead of jilting Yahoo just as they were about to be conjoined. However, we believe that Google choose to abandon the deal because it didn’t want to further open itself to regulatory review–which would have demonstrated why its Yahoo deal would have been bad for competition and privacy.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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