Google Serene Despite Credit Cataclysm, Regulatory Scrutiny

19 September 2008

MOUNTAIN VIEW: "Those whom the Gods would destroy," said Euripides, "they first make mad." Which might explain Google ceo Eric Schmidt's PollyAnna act on Wednesday when he reassured a twitchy gathering of financial groupies that he does not expect the credit implosion to affect the business.

"My guess is that the drama is in New York and not here," he said. "It's business as usual at Google."

Such sangfroid is based on the search giant's comfy  cash cache and he played down the possible adverse effects of the crunch on advertising income.

He also iterated the Google party-line that its "more accountable" online text ads are increasingly attractive to advertisers during hard times.

As to the intervention of the US Department of Justice in Google's romance with Yahoo, Schmidt was equally laid-back: "Time is money in our business. We do not know the [DoJ's]  position. We do not know if they think it is a great deal or a poor deal." 

He refused to speculate about that position, insisting that the happy couple intend to consummate their relationship on schedule some time next month. Together the duo would account for over 80% of the US online search-ad market.

Schmidt did not comment on the European Union's growing interest in the cosy ad pact, although Google has argued that the deal is confined to North America and therefore beyond the EU's jurisdiction.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff