Google to invest over $7 billion in US - GulfToday

Google to invest over $7 billion in US


The brand logo of Google is seen outside its office in Beijing. Reuters

Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Thursday it plans to invest over $7 billion in offices and data centers in the United States this year. Google’s spending includes $1 billion in its home state of California. The move comes at a time when many companies are exiting Silicon Valley after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a broader shift to remote work, making companies reconsider the state’s higher operational costs and hefty taxes.

The investments would create at least 10,000 new full-time Google jobs, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said.  Earlier the Google’s plan to block a popular web tracking tool called “cookies” is a source of concern for US Justice Department investigators who have been asking advertising industry executives whether the move by the search giant will hobble its smaller rivals, people familiar with the situation said.

Alphabet Inc’s Google a year ago announced it would ban some cookies in its Chrome browser to increase user privacy. Over the last two months, Google released more details, leading online ads rivals to complain about losing the data-gathering tool.

The questions from Justice Department investigators have touched on how Chrome policies, including those related to cookies, affect the ad and news industries, four people said. Investigators are asking whether Google is using Chrome, which has 60 per cent global market share, to reduce competition by preventing rival ad companies from tracking users through cookies while leaving loopholes for it to gather data with cookies, analytics tools and other sources, the sources added.

The latest conversations, which have not been previously reported, are a sign that officials are tracking Google’s projects in the global online ad market where it and No. 2 Facebook Inc control about 54 per cent of revenue.

Executives from more than a dozen companies from an array of sectors have spoken with Justice Department investigators, one of the sources said.

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