May 22, 2012 at 4:33 PM ET
Google and Facebook aren't likely to ever friend or G-plus each other; the two compete intensely over search, advertising and data collection. Google CEO Larry Page took quite a jab at Facebook on "The Charlie Rose Show," saying that Facebook is holding their "users hostage" when it comes to data sharing.
At issue is a longtime spat between the two Internet giants. Google used to let Facebook users import their Gmail contacts to Facebook if they wanted to do so. Then, in November, 2010, the search giant stopped allowing it because it said the data flow was a one-way street with Facebook, which doesn't let users share their Facebook contacts info with Gmail.
In the Monday night interview, Rose asked the Google CEO if he was worried about Facebook's "competition in search." Said Page (at about 12:48 minutes into the interview): "It's something we take seriously ... I think it's been unfortunate that Facebook has been pretty closed with their data."
Page said Google understands that when a user joins Facebook, he or she wants to be able to add their Gmail contacts to Facebook.
"Google always said 'Fine, you can get them from Google.' The issue we had is that, then Facebook said, 'No, Google, you can't do the reverse. And so we just said, 'Well, users don't understand what they're doing, they're putting data in, they don't understand they can't take it out .. and so we said we'll only participate with people who have reciprocity. and we're still waiting (for reciprocity)."
The Google CEO was asked if he thought Facebook might change its position in the future.
I mean hope so, I imagine they'll be forced to eventually, if they don't choose to. I think the idea that you'd hold your users hostage and have some reasons for it that don't make sense ... They claim it's a privacy issue, but it's not, really, because they do it with Yahoo, they just don't do it with us. You don't want to be holding your users hostage; we want there to be a competitive market ... so we think it's important that U.S. users of Google can take their data, and take it out if you need to, or take it somewhere else."
Asked about Page's remarks, Facebook told msnbc.com it is declining to comment.