Thursday, January 08, 2009

Google: we 'could' buy newspapers, but we'd rather not

Fortune magazine asking the questions, Google CEO, Eric Schmidt giving the replies:

How about just buying them?

The good news is we could purchase them. We have the cash. But I don't think our purchasing a newspaper would solve the business problems. It would help solidify the ownership structure, but it doesn't solve the underlying problem in the business. Until we can answer that question we're in this uncomfortable conversation.

I think the solution is tighter integration. In other words, we can do this without making an acquisition. The term I've been using is 'merge without merging.' The Web allows you to do that, where you can get the Web systems of both organizations fairly well integrated, and you don't have to do it on exclusive basis.

If not buy, how about just pump some cash into them, the way Microsoft famously once did with Apple?

There are no current plans to do that. The necessary criteria to get us to make that decision are not currently in place.

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