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Google passes on portal

Not interested, says Schmidt

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Google is not interested in re-starting the browser wars nor is it about to become a portal, says chief executive Eric Schmidt.

Speaking in today's FT, Schmidt said the firm would not take on the likes of Microsoft and Yahoo! by setting up a portal. Both ideas have been suggested as ways for Google to extend its brand and defend itself against competing search engines.

Observers worry that Google is open to competition in the market for searches and related adverts. Microsoft and Yahoo! both have plans to include more search technology into their portal and email offerings. Yahoo! bought search specialist Stata Labs last week.

Schmidt told the paper that the search engine market was still young enough that there was room for several companies. He said Google did not need to shape strategy on a defensive basis. He said: "At this stage, the focus has to be on your customers and your own strategy."

Google posted its first quarterly results as a public company late last week, and watched its shares enjoy a rally reminiscent of the heady days of 2000. Google shares went up 15 per cent on Friday, finishing the day at $172.34 per share, according to the FT. ®

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