Google CEO Sundar Pichai plans to meet privately with top Republican lawmakers on Friday to discuss a variety of topics, including the company’s alleged political bias in search results.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), who is organizing Friday’s meeting, told the Wall Street Journal that Pichai has “kindly” agreed to address Republican congress members’ questions on Friday.
“Google has a lot of questions to answer about reports of bias in its search results, violations of user privacy, anticompetitive behavior and business dealings with repressive regimes like China,” McCarthy told the Journal, which reported the meeting Monday.
Friday’s private meeting, and a public hearing later this year before the House Judiciary Committee, comes amid growing bipartisan concern of large tech companies’ size and influence. Google is among a handful of tech companies that has drawn flak for the perception it reflects a liberal bias.
“I look forward to meeting with Members on both sides of the aisle, answering a wide range of questions, and explaining our approach,” Pichai said in a statement confirming a meeting had been scheduled. “These meetings will continue Google’s long history of engaging with Congress, including testifying seven times to Congress this year.”
The meeting will occur a little more than a week after a report in the Journal saidfunctions to counter the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban that went into effect last year.
“Recent news stories reference an internal email to suggest that we would compromise the integrity of our search results for a political end,” Pichai reportedlyon Friday. “This is absolutely false.”
It also follows the publication last week of a video from 2016 that shows Google co-founder Sergey Brin telling a company gathering that he felt.
Last month, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to accuse Google ofto . After notorious far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was kicked off Facebook, iTunes, Twitter and other services, Trump alleged that social media companies were .
Congress has heldhearings to explore how tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter deal with content on their sites, among other issues. In general, the hearings have been when it comes to bias, with some Republicans , and Democrats focusing on queries about how sites have let themselves be played by propagandists and others looking to spread misinformation and sow division in the US.
Earlier this month, Google skipped a, at which Congress grilled Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over election integrity, security and the . The decision to not send Pichai or Alphabet CEO Larry Page drew widespread ire from lawmakers.
McCarthy also reportedly wants to discuss reports Google isand mobile news app that would allow the Chinese government to censor search results for its citizens. The alleged secret project, , led to a who objected to their working toward supporting state-sponsored censorship.
McCarthy couldn’t be reached for comment Monday evening.
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