Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gestures during a meeting at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on 22 January 2020.
(Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images)
Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the company has offered a competitive platform that has cut advertiser prices, giving consumers more choice, according to executive agency notes ahead of Wednesday̵7;s hearing before the House Antitrust subcommittee.
“The competitive digital advertising market provides publishers and advertisers, and therefore consumers, with a huge choice,” said Pichai. “For example, competition in advertising – from Twitter, Instagram, Comcast and others – has helped reduce online advertising costs by 40% over the last 10 years, with these savings being passed on to consumers through lower prices.”
Nevertheless, Google remains the largest digital advertising platform by market share. According to eMarketer, last year Google owned 31.6% of total digital advertising spending with Facebook and Amazon with 22.7% and 7.8%, respectively.
The announcement is preceded by the fact that Pichai will join Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the House Antitrust subcommittee on Wednesday. The committee’s inquiry is expected to result in a report and legislative proposals to address antitrust issues in the digital market. Potential laws could provide information on how state regulators will ban anti-competitive practices in the future.
The most common critics of Google ask whether it prefers its own products or suppresses competitors with its dominance in search and digital advertising. The company has already faced fines from the European Union’s competition authority for its search engine and Android mobile operating system, which Pichai said in its forthcoming comments “deliberately” to promote competition.
Pichai further cites Amazon Alexa, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook owned by WhatsApp as competing platforms where people obtain information.
“In areas such as travel and real estate, Google faces strong competition from search queries from many companies that are experts in these areas,” Pichai said in written notes. “Today’s competitive environment doesn’t look like 5 years ago, let alone 21 years ago when Google launched its first product, Google Search. People have more ways to look for information than ever before. ”
Google faces antitrust probes in the same vein as the Department of Justice and 50 attorneys general who are investigating Google for search and business on Android. According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, this is expected to lead to litigation that could address issues ranging from its search product to the digital advertising market.
The company is also likely to face questions about its role in allowing misinformation to become viral on its platforms, such as YouTube, which has sought to contain particularly harmful pandemic information.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.
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