Pichai cautions against regulating tech giants just 'for the sake of it'

Topics Sundar Pichai | Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Photo: PTI)

Google's Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai has said that it is "perfectly fine" for big companies to be scrutinised but cautioned against doing it just "for the sake regulating" them amid reports that the US is initiating an anti-trust violations probe against the internet giant.

Pichai made the comments for the first time after reports emerged earlier this month that Google's search business and advertising practices may come under scrutiny during the potential anti-trust violations probe by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ and Federal Trade Commission are said to be dividing up responsibility for oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon to probe their market dominance.

Pichai told CNN Business on Friday that it's "perfectly fine" for companies like Google to be scrutinised when they get big enough.

"Scrutiny is right, and we will participate constructively in these discussions," he said.

"I worry that if you regulate for the sake of regulating it, it has a lot of unintended consequences," he said, focusing on the issue of artificial intelligence in particular.

Pichai said, "it will have implications for our national security and ... for other important areas of society. Having leadership ends up being really critical."

This is not the first time Google has come under scrutiny. The company was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission in 2013, but emerged relatively unscathed after the firm pledged to change certain aspects of its business, such as how it handles content from third-party travel or shopping sites.

"We have gone through similar situations in Europe, so it's not a surprise to us," Pichai said, adding "for some of the other companies, maybe the scrutiny is newer."

He said that there are countries that aspire to be the next Silicon Valley, and they are supporting their companies too.

"This doesn't mean you don't scrutinize large companies, but you have to balance it with the fact that you want big, successful companies as well," Pichai added.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel