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Schmidt Defends DoubleClick Buy, Net Neutrality

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At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke with Federated Media’s John Battelle to discuss Google’s purchase of DoubleClick, Network Neutrality, and the company’s seemingly aggressive movement into Microsoft territory with the release of a new PowerPoint-like web application.

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John Battelle Interviews Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Google wowed the advertising circuit with its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, a move that pulled somewhat ironic antitrust protests from AT&T and Microsoft. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company will add DoubleClick’s contextual advertising network to its own set of advertising services.

Schmidt said DoubleClick’s ad technology was what made the company attractive.

"Advertising is really about relevance," he said. It’s really about efficiency; it’s really about measurability. There’s not been a lot of technology applied to advertising over the past 10 or 20 years except for a few companies, DoubleClick being one of them."

Google believes the combination of their technology with DoubleClick’s targeting, advertising and publishing support tools will provide better results for the end user.

"Advertising again is both an art and a science," he said. "We can provide the science to the artists."

Schmidt remains confident of Google’s acquisition despite the antitrust concerns swirling out of Redmond, Wash., where Microsoft is based. As WebProNews’s David Utter pointed out earlier this week, the timing of Microsoft’s complaint is, at least, interesting.

At the end of March, Microsoft’s Director of Business Development Don Dodge balked at a whispered $2 billion price tag. Soon after, the Beast of Redmond seems inordinately upset about a company it didn’t deem valuable enough to worry about.

The DoubleClick acquisition has raised other concerns as well, regarding its ownership of SEO firm Performics, and a third party application integrated into Google Pack that deletes DoubleClick cookies. Schmidt could only say that they were looking into these issues since they were still undergoing the integration process.

Adding fuel to the Google/Microsoft rivalry, Schmidt also announced the soon-to-be-released presentation application that will be part of Google Docs and Spreadsheets. The announcement has been dubbed a bold move onto Microsoft’s PowerPoint turf. Schmidt denies it as a direct threat to Microsoft and implies that it is simply an online solution to completing a set of tasks.

"I think that the reason is that it does not have all the functionality, nor was it intended to have all the functionality of products like Microsoft Office. This is really a different way of managing information."

Schmidt goes on to explain to Battelle that Google Documents and Spreadsheets is different from Microsoft’s product in that it is a free, innovative way to help people better create, use, and share information on the Web.

"This is a testament of strength of Web 2.0," he said.

Schmidt also touched on the issue of Net Neutrality, Google’s stance on which was in question a few weeks ago when one of its senior policy advisers spoke out of turn.

Schmidt reiterated Google’s commitment to a neutral Net, saying it will be important to the next generation of entrepreneurs wanting to create a new vision. They will need an end-to-end network in order for them to be successful and get funded. Schmidt believes this would be "terrible if we lost it as a society."

Although the Internet has changed over time, it is still in its infancy, Schmidt indicated, with more significant changes to come, especially in the mobile realm.

Google is not immune to these changes, as success on the Internet depends upon scalable strategies. He said this was an area of growth for Google as the company adds more data and fiber optic centers, products, cash flow, and people.

Schmidt Defends DoubleClick Buy, Net Neutrality
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  • Andy

    Couldn’t help but think that half of the time, they didn’t know what each other was talking about… John could definitely have done a better job i think.

    • boomboom

      I agree. The entertaining banter was fun at times, but I feel like 15 minutes of the 30-minute interview was wasted. The time was squandered.

  • ellen

    sack that interviewer.

  • Richard Day

    I think the interviewer needs to attend some Toastmasters meetings. I could hardly listen to the interview of Eric Schmidt because of all of the interviewer’s “ah’s”, “um’s”, “so,’” filler words.

    Believe me, it was painful.

    Notice Eric’s speach pattern. You might do well to copy that.

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