Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google CEO Larry Page: Can’t We All Say Kumbaya?

When it started at universities, the Internet was designed to be interoperable. But now that it’s controlled by companies, it’s a shame that their services don’t work together.

That’s the position of Google CEO Larry Page, as articulated when he was asked about competition with Apple, Amazon and others by Fortune’s Miguel Helft for an upcoming cover story.

“It would be nice if everybody would get along better and the users didn’t suffer as a result of other people’s activities,” Page said. Sometimes, he added, Google is not “allowed” to make its products available as widely as it would want.

Sure, Larry, it would indeed be nice. Though obviously, Google in particular would benefit because its search engine works best when it can access and index everything.

Still, Google has been on the defensive lately in situations like the smartphone patent war and after the iPhone map app-endectomy.

And interoperability in tech is not exactly on the rise these days. Even the younger companies — including Instagram and Twitter — have gotten in on the hostilities.

Meanwhile, when asked about antitrust in search competition — something regulators in the U.S. and Europe are seriously considering — Page admitted to Helft that it was “complicated.”

Page asserted that vertical search companies aren’t really Google competitors because they don’t offer the whole package — say, weather, airline tickets, hotel reservations, and logistics combined all together for searchers who are planning a vacation.

“I think for us our strength comes from working with everybody, but we also need to make sure we’re serving our end users with a really great experience and that we provide that detailed information to people. Sometimes those things will be complicated.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald