Google's Pichai "We don't steal money from small businesses"
Google's Pichai "We don't steal money from small businesses"
6:48

Google's Pichai "We don't steal money from small businesses"

Politics
Mr. Pichai over 85% of all online searches go through Google, every online company in United States depends on Google to reach users. A business may sink or swim based on Google's decisions alone. Numerous online businesses told us that Google steals their content and privileges its own sites in ways that profit Google but crush everyone else. Most businesses asked to stay anonymous due to fears that Google would retaliate against them. One entrepreneur Brian Warner told us his website was thriving until Google stole his content, after Google's decision traffic to his website dropped by 80% Had to downsize his business and lay off half his staff. He told us and I quote, if someone came to me with an idea for a website or a web service today, I tell them to run, run as far away from the web as possible launch a lawn care business or dog grooming business, something Google can't take away as soon as he or she is thriving. So my first question, Mr. Pichai, is why does Google steal content from honest businesses? [BLANK_AUDIO] Mr. Chairman, with respect, I disagree with that characterization. Just last week, I met with many small businesses. In fact, today we support 1.4 million small businesses supporting over 380 $5 billion in their current economic activity. We see many businesses try particularly even during the pandemic businesses. An example kettle kings in Texas, which sells kettlebells. It really a. I have limited amount of time. So I don't wanna interview but my question is very specific. We heard throughout this investigation that Google has stolen content to build your own business. These are consistent reports and so, it your your testimony that that doesn't happen is really inconsistent with what we've learned during the course of the investigation. But I'll move on to a new question. Mr. Pichai. Most Americans believe that when they enter a search query that Google shows are the most relevant results. But increasingly, Google just shows whatever is most profitable for Google via Google ads or Google's own sites. So my question is, why isn't there a fundamental conflict of interest between serving users who want to access the best and most relevant information and Google's business model which incentivize Google to sell ads and keep users On Google's own sites. We've always focused on providing users the most relevant information. And we rely on that trust for users to come back to Google every day. In fact, the vast majority of queries in Google, we don't show ads at all. We show ads only for a small subset of queries where the intent from users is highly commercial. For example, they may be looking for something like TV sets or so. But Mr. Mitchell, what is the what is the value of the part that you do use the Google ads for? I mean, it's a substantial part of your business. what's the what's the actual guy? 200 billion 300 billion. In terms of revenue, it's around 100 plus billion dollars, but we have a lot- That's a lot of money, Mr. Pichai. Let me move on. It really, Mr. Pichai, is Google's business model that is the problem. Our documents show that Google evolved from a turnstile to the rest of the web. To a walled garden that increasingly keeps users within it cites email show that over a decade ago, Google started to fear competition from certain websites, webpages that could divert search traffic and revenue from Google. These documents show that Google staff discussed the proliferating threat because how it was described that these webpages pose to Google Any traffic lost to other sites was a loss in revenue. One of Google's memos observed that certain websites were getting and I quote too much traffic. So Google decided to put an end to that. Mr. Pichai, you've been at Google since 2004. Were you involved in these discussions about the threat from vertical search? [BLANK_AUDIO] Congressman, without knowing the specifics, it's not fully clear of the context. But definitely when we look at vertical searches, it validates the competition we see. For example, when users come looking to shop online, independent studies show that over 55% of product searches originate with Amazon And over 70% originate with the major e commerce companies in the few categories which are commercial in nature. We see vigorous competition, paid travel beat real estate and we are working hard. Let me ask you very specifically, the evidence that we collected shows that Google pursued a multi pronged attack. First Google began to steal other webpages content. For example, in 2010, Google stole restaurant reviews from Yelp, to bootstrap its own rival local search business. Mr. [UNKNOWN] do you know how Google responded when Yelp asked you to stop stealing their reviews? I'll tell you our investigation shows that Google's response was to threaten to delist Yelp entirely. In other words, the choice Google gave Yelp was let us steal your content or effectively disappear from the web. Stupid. Isn't that anti competitive. Congressman, when I run the company, I'm really focused on giving users what they want. We conduct ourselves to the highest standard. Happy to engage, understand the specifics and answer your questions further. Thank you and I just one final series of questions Mr. Pichai. Did Google ever use its surveillance over web traffic to identify competitive threats? Congressman just like other businesses, we try to understand trends data, which we can see. And we use it to improve our products for our users. But we really focused on improving our products. And that's how, So appreciate that Mr. Pichai, Google's own documents and numerous interviews with companies affected by this conduct. Show that Google did just that, which is very disturbing and very anti competitive. In addition to stealing content, Google also began to privilege its own sites. And investigative report published just yesterday found that 63% of web searches that start on Google also end somewhere on Google's own websites. And to me, that's evidence that Google is increasingly a walled garden which keeps users on Google Sites. Even if Google doesn't have the most relevant information, and it's economically catastrophic for other companies online, and so my time is running out But Miss Mr. Which I'll just end by saying the evidence seems very clear to me. As Google became the gateway to the internet, it began to abuse its power. Its use is surveillance over web traffic to identify competitive threats and crush them. It has dampened innovation and new business growth. And it's dramatically increased the price of accessing users on the internet, virtually ensuring that any business that wants to be found on the web must pay Google attacks.

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