Google has faced increasing scrutiny from lawmakers for what some have described as anti-competitive behavior and insufficient privacy policies, and the tech giant to cut its lobbying budget by nearly half in 2019 while under the government’s spotlight.
“We’ve long engaged with organizations from across the political spectrum that focus on technology issues,” a Google spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “We’re always glad to have the opportunity to host people at our headquarters to explain our products and the work we do to innovate.”
The quarterly summit will give Google a chance to help the policy experts from across the political spectrum understand its products better, ask questions and give feedback directly to Google’s team, effectively eliminating the barrier between Washington and Silicon Valley. This is normal practice not only for Google but other influential tech companies, as well.
Google will “present an interactive program designed to dig into timely and relevant subject matter and to strengthen connections between our valued partners and our broader teams,” the invite to the summit says, according to Axios. The summit will include discussions on Google Search, quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and advertising products.
Speakers will include Google’s Washington, D.C.-based vice president of global policy and government relations, Karan Bhatia, and vice president of government affairs and public policy, Mark Isakowitz, those familiar with the program told Axios.
Attorneys general representing 48 states and the Justice Department are currently probing Google for antitrust practices and could soon combine their efforts ahead of a joint information-sharing meeting next week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Additionally, the European Union fined the tech giant $1.7 billion in March for blocking rival advertisements and another $5 billion in June for illegal app practices. Google filed an appeal against the $5 billion case in October.
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