Google CEO Discusses Acquisition Plans

    May 11, 2007

When I’ve heard Eric Schmidt speak – in person, and on more than one occasion – the man seemed entirely straightforward.  And yet, although he’s recently gotten out the message that Google is still interested in making acquisitions, Schmidt’s meaning (beyond that) has been interpreted in a variety of ways.

“Google to focus on small buy-ups,” reported the Guardian Unlimited’s Mark Sweney.  “Google Sees Mergers Big and Small,” contended Eric Auchard of Reuters.  “Google prepares for giant takeover bids,” pronounced Rhys Blakely of the Times Online.  And those three pieces were written within one day of each other.

Um.  Right.

It seems best, then, to simply report what Google’s CEO said and let you decipher his words’ significance for yourself.

“We are more comfortable now than we were a few years ago to buy real businesses,” Schmidt stated before a shareholder meeting.  “But we are not doing it for competitive reasons.  We are doing it because it is part of building out a portfolio.”

As for the frequency with which Google plans to make acquisitions, the CEO added, “I think the pace will accelerate, but it is not a fundamental shift and we are not going to do it every day.”

That sentence, at least, seems easy to understand.  So businesses of all sizes may have a good reason to get excited – no one’s positive what Google is looking for, but the deep-pocketed search engine corporation is definitely looking.  Reporters, meanwhile, may be left looking for a Schmidt-ese-to-English translator.