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Schmidt: Google Will Cooperate With Antitrust Probe



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    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 28: Google CEO Eric Schmidt speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference on September 28, 2010 in San Francisco, California. The TechCruch Disrupt Conference runs through September 29. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Google will cooperate with government officials in an antitrust probe against the internet titan, but won't let it deter the company from its latest business strategies, a Google official said.

    Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, said at a meeting with journalists in Sun Valley, Idaho, that the company was already in government meetings with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, but didn't foresee changing its business plans -- including a bigger launch of its social network, Google+, according to Reuters. "We've had some meetings internally, (but) we haven't changed anything," Schmidt said.

    He also expressed a desire for more integration with Twitter and Facebook, but said that Facebook so far isn't interested in cooperating.

    The FTC started a formal review of Google's business practices, which shareholders never consider a good sign. It usually means a lot of time spent on a federal investigation possibly leading to an expensive legal battle -- meanwhile, the company is distracted from creating products and making money for its shareholders. Currently the FTC is addressing complaints that Google, because of an estimated 69 percent of Internet searches worldwide, could possibly game its search to favor itself rather than its rivals.

    Schmidt is right in telling journalists that the probe will have little effect on business at Google, because by saying that, it saves the company less Wall Street drama. Now whether or not what Schmidt said it is true is a different story.