Last month, it was reported that the Biden administration is preparing to sue Google for alleged anticompetitive acts in the digital advertising market. This comes after a series of lawsuits against Google filed earlier this year, hammering in severe pressure on CEO Sundar Pichai.
The lawsuits argue that Google has not only obtained, but also abused, a monopoly over the network of technology used to deliver ads online.
When publishers started using an alternative system for selling their ad space, Google worked to undermine it by creating a similar system that it controlled, according to the lawsuit. Earlier lawsuits argue that Google reached a deal with Facebook to have the social network join its effort in an effort to “kill” the publishers’ competing plan.
Amongst the chaos, Sundar Pichai announced that layoffs could be in the future of Google, as the company seeks to boost its efficiency to 20% while fighting off tough economic headwinds and anti-trust allegations.
In July, Pichai announced that the company would begin a hiring freeze. He released a memo to employees telling them that “productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have.”
Google employees told Insider that they are fearful of layoffs after the company quietly extended its hiring freeze last month without a heads up.
Pichai stated, “The more we try to understand the macroeconomic, we feel very uncertain about it. The macroeconomic performance is correlated to ad spend, consumer spend, and so on” at a tech conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“We want to make sure as a company, when you have fewer resources than before, you are prioritizing all the right things to be working on and your employees are really productive that they can actually have impact on the things they’re working on so that’s what we are spending our time on,” Pichai said.
Comments made by Pichai were reported by CNBC.
Pichai also stated that he’s worried about the federal government’s anti-trust probes.
“Do I wake up and worry about all the stuff that’s coming down?” Pichai said.
Pichai denied that his company was involved in monopolistic practices, stating that Google is “pro-competitive.”
“Competition in tech is hyper-intense,” Pichai said, adding that TikTok’s rise “shows there is competition in the space” and “how vibrant the market is” compared to previous years.