Google Slips Ahead of `60 Minutes' Feature on Antitrust Threat

(Bloomberg) -- The CBS news magazine 60 Minutes will lead its show Sunday with a segment on “The Power of Google” that will include interviews with the company’s critics, who say it stifles competition, as well as the European Union’s antitrust chief.

Shares in Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., dipped about 1.7 percent in early trading Friday after the news was announced. The stock was trading down 1 percent to $1070.02 9:47 a.m. in New York.

Google, along with other U.S. tech giants like Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., have come under scrutiny in recent months for becoming too big, and too dominant in many aspects of people’s daily lives. Google and Facebook for instance largely control the market for online advertising, fueled by information they collect on their billions of users, which feeds their bottom lines and has made them among the world’s most profitable companies.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg appeared for two days before Congress earlier this year to respond to questions about how the social-media company collects data and how it protects users’ privacy. Google probably collects even more data, and some lawmakers are calling for its CEO, Sundar Pichai, to come to Washington to answer questions.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, will be interviewed on the 60 Minutes segment, her office said Friday. Vestager fined Google a record $2.7 billion last year over its shopping search service. The Mountain View, California-based company faces possible further fines in two separate EU probes into Android mobile phone software and Google’s online advertising contracts.

In the U.S., meanwhile, Google faces scrutiny from Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is investigating the company for possible violations of the state’s antitrust and consumer protection laws.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the show.

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