Google Inc. considered buying a newspaper but decided against it, CEO Eric Schmidt told the Financial Times.
Schmidt said the company had considered buying a news publication - he didn’t specify which one - but said it is now unlikely to do so because potential targets are either too expensive or have too many liabilities, according to an interview with the paper's online edition.
Most recent reports have centered on the New York Times Co. but another rumored possibility in the past was the San Jose Mercury News.
We’ve actually looked at this and we’re trying to avoid crossing the line between the infrastructure and technology that Google provides and the content that our partners provide. There is a line and we’re trying to stay on our side it. Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he also sees the danger of losing quality content if it loses top providers its search service links to.
From our perspective, we depend on the production of very, very high-quality content. If the people who are producing that are getting laid off, it’s really a tragedy for both. So we need the high-quality content. There’s a debate in the industry of exactly how to get it but, ultimately, the problem is not us taking money from some other pocket and subsidizing it, ultimately the solution is to build products that really are so good that we make enough money from advertising and subscriptions, to a degree, that they make sense and that there’s enough money to pay for the construction of this high-quality content, he said.