Sundar Pichai Cautions Against ‘Unintended Consequences’ of Big Tech Regulation

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA - MAY 07: Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address at the 2019 Google I/O conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 07, 2019 in Mountain View, California. The annual Google I/O Conference runs through May 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai cautioned Friday against the “unintended consequences” of regulating large tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

Google CEO spoke with CNN for the first time since the Donald Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will reportedly launch an antitrust investigation against Google.

During his interview with CNN, Pichai cautioned against regulating America’s largest technology companies, suggesting there could be “unintended consequences.”

Focusing on artificial intelligence, Pichai explained, “I worry that if you regulate for the sake of regulating it, it has a lot of unintended consequences. It will have implications for our national security and … for other important areas of society. Having leadership ends up being really critical.”

Criticism of big tech companies has become bipartisan as prominent 2020 Democrat presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called for the federal government to “unwind anti-competitive mergers” such as Google’s acquisitions of Waze, Nest, and DoubleClick, an online advertising company it bought in 2007.

Pichai called for healthy debate surrounding the Massachusetts senator’s call to break up big tech.

“I think there needs to be healthy debate,” Pichai said Warren’s anti-tech messaging. “Any campaign has moments around that, but what matters to me is the healthy thoughtful conversations around it.”

The Google chief’s interview with CNN arises as reports suggest that the search giant has fired half a dozen of its largest lobbying firms in an attempt to revitalize its policy and government affairs operations.

Criticism of big tech has not only came from Congress; other government officials have also called out Silicon Valley.
During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this week, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai said that America’s largest technology companies serve as the greatest threat to a free and open Internet.
“The greatest threat to a free and open Internet has been the unregulated Silicon Valley tech giants that do, in fact, today decide what you see and what you don’t,” the FCC chief said. There’s no transparency. There’s no consumer protections, and I think bipartisan members of both congressional chambers have now come to that realization.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3

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