Schmidt Sees Little to Alter for Google After U.K. Brexit Vote

  • ‘Hard for me to imagine we’d make much of a change’: Schmidt
  • Alphabet urges ‘more harmonization’ across digital platform

Google is unlikely to modify European operations after Britain voted to exit the European Union last week, though the region must take care not to erect barriers deemed harmful to digital companies and entrepreneurs, Alphabet Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt said at a conference in Paris Thursday.

"I think it unlikely that Google will change our allocation based on this," Schmidt said of the Britain’s vote to leave the EU. "You never know, but it would be hard for me to imagine we’d make much of a change."

"I’m always concerned when people talk about more barriers," Schmidt said. "Europe has suffered from splintering of the markets and I don’t want anything to splinter it further."

European regulators and tech companies have been calling for shared rules in the region to govern digital spaces. For now, legislation including taxation is different across countries from Ireland to France and Italy. The U.K.’s vote to leave the 28-member bloc of nations has raised concerns over whether the region is headed for a more heterogeneous patchwork of national frameworks.

"No matter how politics work out, I hope we retain as common a platform as possible for digital," Schmidt said. "I hope there will be more harmonization."

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