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June 10, 2016

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt says Europe should create more entrepreneurs

News: He said the continent should fix university funding and make labor laws more flexible.

By CBR Staff Writer

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt said European governments should work more on promoting entrepreneurs and expanding the economy instead of focusing on protection from US rivals.

Speaking at the Brilliant Minds conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Schmidt said Europe should spend less time arguing on zero sum games and trying to protect domestic industries from US technology rivals.

Alphabet, parent company of Google, is facing various antitrust investigations in Europe over allegations of its market dominance and tax payments.

Bloomberg quoted Schmidt as saying Google had a "good, healthy relationship with all our regulators."

Schmidt said Europe should fix university funding, giving more money to graduate departments to carry out experiments and develop new technology.

He said: "The lack of capital for universities is a direct cause of the lack of startups in Europe."

Schmidt said Europe should also make its labor laws and business regulations more flexible, creating exceptions for companies with less than 15 employees, which will make it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses.

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He said: "I buy into all the social rules, all the health standards, et cetera, but they need to take barriers away to starting new companies. Government should try to make it costless."

At the last month’s Startup Fest Europe conference in the Netherlands, Schmidt said Google hires people that come out of the European universities.

Schmidt was quoted by Business Insider as saying, "Universities themselves are underfunded relative to the American universities, by a lot."

He urged Europe to promote a more risk-taking business culture, with less interference from regulators.

It was reported last month that Google could be hit with record €3bn EU antitrust fine in the long-running antitrust case.

Apart from the fine, the company would have to change its search practices to be in line with European law.

Google may also be barred from continuing to manipulate search results to favor itself and harm competitors.

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