First, Terry Semel, who I interviewed yesterday morning, had some choice words for Google. In essence, he suggested that if Google and Yahoo were to be judged as competitors, perhaps they should be judged as portals, since that’s what both companies are now. And by that measure, Google is “number four.”
I also got to ask Terry a question suggested by Indeed CEO Paul Forster. If Google does jobs.google.com (which is expected by many shortly), would Semel let Google crawl hotjobs.com?
“We will always be more open than Google,” was his response. Innaresting.
Second, I interviewed AOL CEO Jonathan Miller yesterday, and got a chance to ask him about the persistent rumors of a MSN or even Newscorp acquisition (I also asked MSN honcho Yusuf Medhi,more on that later). He deferred, but did say that all things worth considering will be considered. I then played off my favorite AOL idea of the moment. It goes like this: AOL was critical in Overture’s rise, when Overture got the AOL deal, it made the company. Then, when Google stole AOL with Adwords, that deal (which many said Google overpaid for) was critical to Google’s future success (according to Eric Schmidt, who told me as much for my book).
So, I asked Jonathan, might not MSN try to steal AOL’s business from Google? MSN can afford to overpay, and a hundred million or more in guaranteed profit to Time Warner’s bottom line can’t hurt, right?
Miller had a great answer: “We’re kind of the swing vote,” he said. “I think people have noticed that.”
More, I hope, when I get a chance.