Sunday Telegraph

Google's Schmidt tries to avoid clashes with EU regulators

February 7, 2011: 5:49 PM ET
Image representing Eric Schmidt as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the Google Chairman said he'd do just about anything to avoid investigations, even change its search algorithms.

Google's (GOOG) outgoing CEO was candid on the company's trouble with EU investigators, which seem to be sniffing around just about every business the search and services goliath gets into these days.  From the relatively benign car data gathering, to its possible abuse of power in search and advertising, nothing is off the table.

Google could be willing to change some of its algorithm methodology in search, but will not countenance anything, which could allow spam sites to climb to the top of search results. Google carefully guards how it ranks search to prevent sites with little original content forcing their way into top rankings.

The Telegraph notes that Google has learned from Microsoft's folly.  Hopefully Intel's(INTC) expensive troubles in the EU can also serve as a guide. Microsoft (MSFT) tried to take on the EU over browser and OS tie-ups and ended up paying record (at the time - thanks Intel) fines and spending untold amounts of time in courts.  The resulting browser voting bar has caused Microsoft to lose its majority share in browsers.

Google clearly doesn't want to go down this path.  Asked directly whether he envisaged a similar type of battle ahead, Schmidt said: More

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