Quote of the Weekend: Microsoft & Yahoo Combined Would “Break the Internet”

Posted Mar 15, 2008

Can billions of dollars buy you confidence or the ability to communicate your points intellectually when you want to?  Nope.  What about if you are the President of the U.S.?  Nope.

In the 2004 election, President Bush used the word, ‘Internets:’

DANIEL FARLEY, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. President, since we continue to police the world, how do you intend to maintain our military presence without reinstituting a draft?
BUSH: Yes, that’s a great question. Thanks. I hear there’s rumors on the, uh, Internets [pause] that we’re going to have a draft. We’re not going to have a draft, period. The all-volunteer army works. It works particularly when we pay our troops well. It works when we make sure they’ve got housing, like we have done in the last military budgets.

We all slip sometimes when being interviewed.  Myself included.  An example I remember is when standing in recruitment lines at Michigan State University career fairs.  There was one time I asked a recruiter at Rolls-Royce the type of opportunities that Boeing has to offer.  I’m pretty sure that eliminated the chance of being recruited at Rolls-Royce that day.  I laughed about it later that night over a few beers.  What was I thinking?

“What was I thinking” might be what the CEO of Google pondered after his interview with Condé Nast Portfolio.  Russ Mitchell, a senior writer at Portfolio asked Schmidt, “Why does a merged Microsoft-Yahoo pose such a threat to Google?”

Earlier this year, Microsoft made an offer to acquire Yahoo! for $44.1 billion.  This acquisition would put the world’s biggest software company in a joint effort with the most trafficked search engine company to take on Google.  The thought of this possibility should worry the CEO of Google, possibly make him nervous.  Judging by the response to the answer provided below, it clearly has made him nervous.

“It’s an unstable situation. But the theoretical issue is the concentration of Microsoft’s resources and its history, combined with the very large share that it would have in certain applicationsâ??like instant messaging and emailâ??that could be used essentially to break the internet and diminish choice,” stated Eric Schmidt in the interview.

Oof.  “Break the Internet?”  Seriously?  I place this statement to be in the hall of shame along with “Don’t tase me, bro” and “rumors on the Internets.”