Investor Peter Thiel of the Founders Fund just got off stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, where he was taking about a new book he’s writing with Slide founder Max Levchin.TechCrunch editor in chief asked the duo what Google could do to avoid being disrupted by newer players like Facebook.
Levchin didn’t answer, as he is still “technically on the Google payroll” for a while longer. (The company recently shut down Slide and Levchin is leaving.)
But Thiel didn’t sound worried about Google’s prospects at all:
Google is a monopoly search company, with a monopoly that’s far more powerful than Microsoft ever had in the 1990s. It was driven by a great set of technological innovations and insights.
The question is whether regulators will agree.
It’s not illegal to HAVE a monopoly, but it can be illegal to use that monopoly to gain leverage in other businesses. Google is facing a number of antitrust investigations in the U.S. and Europe, and chairman Eric Schmidt is testifying before the U.S. Senate next Wednesday about competitive issues.
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