Sundar Pichai called to EU hearing on big tech next month


Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has been invited to an EU hearing on the power of big tech next month.

From Reuters:

EU lawmakers have invited the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet to a Feb. 1 hearing in Brussels as they try to crack down on the powers of U.S. tech giants.

The European Parliament will in the coming months provide input into proposals by the European Commission to force the companies to play fairly with rivals and to do more to tackle online fake news and harmful content or face hefty fines.

The report notes the purpose of the hearing “is to have an exchange with the chief executive officers of the four globally leading platform companies to learn about their current business models and future concepts as they face the challenges of altering market conditions” ahead of planned new EU regulations for the digital sector. The invitation is supposedly for CEOs only, and as noted, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have also received the letter.

Don’t be surprised if Pichai doesn’t attend, mind you. According to “people familiar with the companies” Reuters reports that there is doubt any of the CEOs will take up the invitation.

Pichai is already due to hold a video-conference call with antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Monday, January 25. Reuters notes Vestager “is pushing for tough new rules” and will discuss digital and competition issues with the head of Alphabet and Google.

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