Google v. Microsoft v. Apple v. Facebook: Nothing Obama Can’t Sort Out Over a Beer

by on August 4, 2009 · 6 comments

Maybe Obama should invite Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer over to the White House for a beer to settle the two companies’ differences!

While he’s at it, Obama might want to invite Apple CEO Steve Jobs, too, since the common cause Apple and Google once made against Microsoft now seems to be giving way to increased rivalry between the two titans of Internet cool. Or how about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, given Facebook’s growing challenge to Google? Yahoo!’s Carol Bartz seems to get along much better with everyone than the boys in the group, so she’d probably help Obama keep things under control.

The Internet industry’s war-of-all-against-all is reminiscent of Tom Lehrer‘s classic 1960s satire “National Brotherhood Week”:

It’s not hard to see who Google would be in Lehrer’s ditty!

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
And everybody hates the Jews.

I wonder how many beers it would take to get all these wonderfully innovative companies to join hands and agree to “come to cyberlibertarian Jesus” by swearing off the use of public policy as a weapon against each other—much as  Holman W. Jenkins recently suggested that Google and Microsoft work out a “cease-fire.” Unfortunately, given the Obama administration’s apparent insistence on tinkering with the industry, I doubt Obama would be interested in leading that particular faith meeting, no matter how many beers he’d had first!

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