Google’s Pichai to meet EU antitrust chief Vestager on Friday

31 January 2017 9:54am

First published on MLex 16 November 2016. By Matthew Newman.

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive officer of Google, plans to meet EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Friday, MLex has learned.

Pichai was in London yesterday to announce plans for a new headquarters building in London that could see the creation of up to 3,000 jobs by 2020. The investment would cost about 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion).

The Google executive, who took up the role in October 2015, will visit Germany before arriving in Brussels to talk to Vestager about the EU’s six-year antitrust probe.

The meeting comes as the Alphabet unit faces several EU investigations, including how the company licenses its Android mobile operating program.

In July, the European Commission also sent supplementary charges into whether the US search engine unfairly favors its shopping-comparison services over those of rivals. In addition, the EU watchdog dispatched a Statement of Objections into whether Google has ended potentially anticompetitive conduct in the online advertising business.

In the Android case, the company responded to the commission’s charges last week, saying the regulator has misunderstood the competitive dynamics in the app market and the relationship between Google and phone makers.

Google and the commission are still discussing whether certain documents in the Android file contain confidential information. The company may submit an additional response to the EU charges based on those documents after the confidentiality issues are resolved, the commission said yesterday.

While in Brussels, Pichai plans to discuss EU policies that may help drive new digital markets with EU digital-economy chief Günther Oettinger.

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