The company wrote in a Friday blog post that its widely popular services have helped people, created more choices for consumers and supported thousands of jobs and small businesses across America. Nine of Google’s products, including Gmail, Photos, Search and Maps, have reached the billion-user milestone.
“Google is one of America’s top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation: Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone—translating any language instantaneously, learning about objects by pointing your phone, getting an answer to pretty much any question you might have,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president for global affairs, wrote in the blog post.
At the same time, regulators are circling Google, trying to decide if the benefits consumers have gained from the tech giant’s products outweigh any societal costs around possible anti-competitive behaviors.
In the wake of this week’s $170 million Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fine over apparent violations of children’s privacy laws, a reported new antitrust probe from more than half of American state attorneys general, a corporate culture that sees its top executives face allegations of sexual harassment or affairs with subordinates and internal complaints about discrimination against women and company retaliation — the Mountain View, Calif., company is at a crossroads.
Walker said the company would continue to work with regulators to ensure it complies with the law.
“We have answered many questions on these issues over many years, in the United States as well as overseas, across many aspects of our business, so this is not new for us. The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions.”