Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 08:29 am PT (11:29 am ET)
Google CEO Larry Page says rivalries with Apple & Amazon hurt usersGoogle Chief Executive Larry Page has lamented the "island-like approach" companies have taken in commercializing the Internet, as services from Google, Apple and Amazon do not integrate well with one another.
Page's comments come from an interview with Fortune published on Tuesday, in which he said it is "a shame" that the three biggest technology companies are competing with each other with completely different business models. While Apple makes its money off of hardware, Google sells advertising that accompanies its free services, and Amazon opts for a low-margin, high-volume approach selling items and content from its Web-based store.
"All the big technology companies are big because they did something great," Page said. I"d like to see more cooperation on the user side. The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to integrate. And as we've commercialized it, we've added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is somewhat of a shame for users."
The Google CEO said he feels it "would be nice" if his company got along better with rivals like Apple and Amazon. He believes more cooperation would make users "suffer" less.
"We try pretty hard to make our products available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy," he said. "I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not."
When asked whether Google talks with Apple about resolving some of these issues, Page simply said that his company has a "big search relationship" with Apple, and that the two sides do talk.
Page also revealed he was friendly with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, though only "at times." He clarified earlier comments in which he said he believed Jobs' hatred of Android was "for show," adding that he felt it was "partly" to energize Apple's employees and supporters.
"That's something I try not to do," Page said. "I don't try to rally my company in that way because I think that if you're looking at somebody else, you're looking at what they do now, and that's not how again you stay two or three steps ahead."
The interview didn't touch on recent reports that claimed Page was in direct talks with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook about patent litigation. One report from August claimed that the two CEOs have had phone conversations with one another about intellectual property issues.
Cook has been more delicate with his choice of words than his predecessor, Jobs, who told biographer Walter Isaacson that he viewed Google's Android platform as a "stolen product." The late Jobs vowed to spend his "last dying breath" along with "every penny" that Apple had in the bank "to right this wrong."
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