Congress began its Big Tech hearing by grilling Google CEO Sundar Pichai over stealing content from other businesses and diverting traffic to their own sites.
U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), started off by asking Pichai, “Why does Google steal content from honest businesses?” Cicilline cited investigations they conducted and interviews from other businesses.
Pichai argued that Google supports 1.4 million small businesses, but Cicilline cited an instance in which Google stole restaurant reviews from Yelp in 2010 and “threatened to delist Yelp entirely.”
Cicilline called Google’s business model a problem and a “proliferating threat,” adding that Google searches favor whatever is most profitable for Google.
“We have always focused on providing users the most relevant information,” Pichai responded, adding, “A vast majority of queries on Google don’t show ads at all.”
Pichai said that Google gets more than $100 million in ad revenue a year.
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