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Google CEO Reacts To Possible U.S. Antitrust Probes Into Tech Giant

Denise Petski and Dade Hayes

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is making his first extensive comments about reports of a possible U.S. antitrust probe into the tech giant, saying he is not surprised.

“We have gone through similar situations in Europe, so it’s not a surprise to us,” Pichai said in an exclusive interview with CNN Business. “For some of the other companies, maybe the scrutiny is newer,” he added.

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“I think it’s perfectly fine that as companies get to big scale there is scrutiny. Scale does offer many benefits.. as a company we now invest five-ten years ahead without thinking short-term profits,” he said. But he did caution against a push to regulate big tech business simply “for the sake of regulating.”

Reports in the Washington Post and The New York Times earlier this month indicated that the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are looking closer at Amazon and Google. The two have reportedly agreed to divide up the task, with the DOJ focused on Google and the FTC taking on Amazon. The news accounts came from unidentified sources, and both agencies have declined to comment.

Pichai’s comments echo those of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who told CBS News earlier this month that it was “fair” for regulators to probe Apple, but that the tech giant, in his view, is “not a monopoly.”

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have made breaking up tech giants a key part of their platforms. Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have advocated for a breakup. Meanwhile, Republicans (including President Donald Trump) have maintained that Google’s algorithmic search results are biased against right-leaning content. Google also casts a long shadow in online advertising, with critics and rivals wondering if its ability to tie ad revenue to search results offers it an anti-competitive edge.

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