Jul 29, 2020
Sundar Pichai Opening Statement Transcript Antitrust Hearing July 29
Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s opening statement at the Congressional Antitrust Hearing on July 29. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Mr. Pichai, you are now recognized for five minutes.
Sundar Pichai: (00:05)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ranking member Sensenbrenner and members of the subcommittee. Before I start, I know this hearing was delayed because of the ceremonies to honor the life of your colleague, Representative John Lewis. Because of his courage, this world is better place. He will be deeply missed. And it’s hard, a discussion about competition is a discussion about opportunity. This has never been more important as the global pandemic poses dual challenges to our health and our economy. Expanding access to opportunity through technology is personal to me. I didn’t have much access to a computer growing up in India so you can imagine my amazement when I arrived in the US for graduate school and saw an [inaudible 00:00:54] lab of computers to use whenever I wanted. Accessing the internet for the first time, set me on a path to bring technology to as many people as possible.
Sundar Pichai: (01:04)
It inspired me to build Google’s first browser, Chrome. I’m proud that 11 years later, so many people experienced the net through Chrome for free. Google takes pride in the number of people who choose our products. We are even prouder of what they do with them. From the 140 million students and teachers using G Suite for education to stay connected during the pandemic, to the 5 million Americans, gaining digital skills through Grow With Google, to all the people who turn to Google for help, from finding the fastest route home, to learning how to cook a new dish on YouTube. Google’s work would not be possible without the long tradition of American innovation and we are proud to contribute to its future. We employ more than 75,000 people in the US, across 26 states. The Progressive Policy Institute estimated that in 2018, we invested more than $20 billion in the US, citing us as the largest capital investor in America that year and one of the top five for the last three years.
Sundar Pichai: (02:11)
One way we contribute is by building helpful products. Research found that free services like search, Gmail, maps and photos provide thousands of dollars a year in value to the average American and many are small businesses using our digital tools to grow. Stone Dimensions, a family owned stone company in Pewaukee, Wisconsin uses Google My Business to draw more customers. Gil’s Appliances, a family owned appliance store in Bristol, Rhode Island credit’s Google Analytics, but helping them reach customers online during the pandemic. Nearly one third of small business owners say that without digital tools, they would have had to close all or part of their business during COVID. Another way we contribute is by being among the world’s biggest investors in research and development. At the end of 2019, our R&D spend had increased 10 fold over 10 years, from $2.8 billion to $26 billion and we have invested over $90 billion the last five years.
Sundar Pichai: (03:15)
Our engineers are helping America remain a global leader in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, self driving cars, and quantum computing. Just as America’s technology. Leadership is not inevitable, Google’s continued success is not guaranteed. New competitors emerge every day and today users have more access to information than ever before. Competition drives us to innovate, and it also leads to better products, lower choices, and more choices for everyone. For example, competition help lower online advertising costs by 40% over the last decade, it’s savings passed down to consumers. Open platforms like Android also support the innovation of others. Using Android, thousands of mobile operators build and sell their own devices without paying any licensing fees to us. This has enabled billions of consumers to offer cutting edge smart phones, some for less than $50. Whether building tools for small businesses or platforms like Android, Google succeeds when others succeed.
Sundar Pichai: (04:24)
Competition also sets higher standards for privacy and security. I’ve always believed that privacy is a universal right and Google is committed to keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, putting you in control and we’ve long supported the creation of comprehensive federal privacy laws. I’ve never forgotten how access to technology and innovation changed the course of my life. Google aims to build products that increase access to opportunity for everyone, no matter where you live, what you believe or how much money you earn. We are committed to doing this responsibly in partnership with lawmakers to ensure every American has access to the incredible opportunity technology creates. Thank you.