- Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he was surprised by the "specific timing" of the US Department of Justice’s reported plans to investigate the company over antitrust concerns.
- He added, however, that it was to be expected that Google would come under scrutiny over its market power given similar probes in Europe.
- Pichai said regulatory scrutiny of big companies is "perfectly fine" and that Google will "participate constructively in these discussions."
- The DOJ has yet to officially confirm that it is investigating Google.
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai told CNN that while he wasn’t surprised to hear the US Department of Justice is planning to investigate Google, he was taken aback by its "timing."
CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked Pichai in an interview, broadcast Friday, whether he was surprised by the reports that the DOJ is laying the groundwork for an antitrust investigation into Google.
"Maybe the specific timing of it, but we had always expected — you know we have gone through similar situations in Europe and so it’s not a surprise to us," he said.
Google has been hit with three EU antitrust fines in the last three years, totalling $9.4 billion. Google is appealing all three decisions.
Pichai also said it’s "perfectly fine" for large companies to be subjected to governmental scrutiny. "I think scrutiny is right and we will participate constructively in these discussions," he said.
The DOJ has yet to confirm whether or not it’s launching a probe into Google, but reports emerged in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post at the beginning of this month that the FTC and the DOJ were divvying up the tech giants between themselves, and that Google would be the territory of the DOJ.
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