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Sundar Pichai argues ‘Google’s continued success is not guaranteed’ in opening antitrust statement

The chief executives of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook tomorrow will appear before Congress to answer questions about their market dominance. Sundar Pichai’s written statement was released this evening, and it provides a high-level overview of Google’s defense against antitrust allegations.

Pichai says “Google’s continued success is not guaranteed,” and proceeds to identify competitors, starting with those in the Search realm. He argues that “people have more ways to search for information than ever before,” and points out how the following interactions are increasingly “happening outside the context of only a search engine.”

Often the answer is just a click or an app away: You can ask Alexa a question from your kitchen; read your news on Twitter; ask friends for information via WhatsApp; and get recommendations on Snapchat or Pinterest. When searching for products online, you may be visiting Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or any one of a number of e-commerce providers, where most online shopping queries happen.

More broadly, he says that Google’s products exist in a “highly competitive and dynamic global markets” where “prices are free or falling.” On the ads front, “Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Comcast and others” are cited as competitors responsible for lowering “advertising costs by 40% over the last 10 years.”

The statement highlights Google’s contribution to America, including examples of local businesses leveraging Google services, especially amidst COVID-19. 

PPI estimated that in 2018 alone we invested more than $20 billion across the U.S., citing us as the largest capital investor in America that year. It’s also ranked us in the top five U.S. investors for the last three years.

The testimony also talks about Google’s research and development investments in America. The company’s quantum computing breakthrough last fall is touted, along with work in artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. 

Every year, we are among the world’s biggest investors in research and development. At the end of 2019, our R&D spend had increased almost 10 times over 10 years, from $2.8 billion to $26 billion. We’ve invested over $90 billion over the last 5 years.

Google’s full antitrust statement is available here, and the hearing will start tomorrow at 9 a.m. PT.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: