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Fri, Oct 26, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Google planning to wring more riches from the Internet

AFP , MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA

Unfazed by rival Microsoft winning a race to partner with online phenomenon Facebook, Google wooed analysts on Wednesday with plans to wring even more riches from the Internet.

"There are plenty of companies using the notion of social community," Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said during an annual briefing day for analysts at the Internet giant's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

"It is pretty obvious people will be members of multiple networks; which is why our world won't collapse with any one network," he said.

Schmidt declined to discuss Microsoft's deal with Facebook or rampant rumors about Google planning to release an advertising-supported mobile "G-phone."

"I'm using the iPhone," quipped Schmidt, who is on the board of iPhone-maker Apple Inc.

Schmidt confirmed that Google is likely to bid for the 700 megahertz broadcast spectrum to be auctioned off by the US Federal Communications Commission.

"It is perfectly possible the best strategy will be to bid with one or several partners," he said.

Schmidt, Google co-founder Serge Brin at his side, vowed that Google wouldn't buy a broadcast spectrum, build a telephone network and take to selling an array of mobile devices.

"We are not planning on getting into the telephony business," Schmidt said. "The auction is a tactic to an outcome and the outcome is end user choice."

Schmidt said Google has no plans for a stock split, which would double the number of shares but halve the price.

"We'd rather have investors who do the arithmetic than those who are buying just on price," Brin said of Google stock, which was US$675.30 a share in after hours trading.

Schmidt is optimistic that US and EU regulators will clear Google's purchase of online ad-targeting firm DoubleClick, which it made a deal to buy after winning a bidding war against Microsoft.

Brin also said that restrictions placed on Internet content and traffic makes doing business in China difficult.

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