Alphabet revenue sees 19pc boost ahead of antitrust investigations in US

26 Jul 2019

Google corporate headquarters. Image: wolterke/Depositphotos

Google parent company Alphabet reported a revenue rise of 19pc in the week the US government confirmed a competition probe.

Google’s parent company reported a healthy rise in revenue as the technology giant published its latest financial results.

Despite being part of a new US Department of Justice antitrust investigation over concerns about the dominance of Big Tech firms, Alphabet reported a revenue increase of 19pc on this time last year.

The firm’s total revenue for the last quarter was $38.9bn, up from $32.7bn in the same period of 2018. Net income also rose substantially to $9.9bn from $3.2bn a year ago.

‘I’m incredibly excited by the momentum across Google’s businesses and the innovation that is fuelling our growth’

Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said the internet giant’s traditional services and new technology such as artificial intelligence are fuelling the growth.

“Our effort to build a more helpful Google for everyone brings countless opportunities to help users, partners and enterprise customers every day,” he said.

“From improvements in core information products such as Search, Maps and the Google Assistant, to new breakthroughs in AI and our growing cloud and hardware offerings, I’m incredibly excited by the momentum across Google’s businesses and the innovation that is fuelling our growth.”

Antitrust and Android

But, having been the subject of three antitrust fines in Europe in the last three years, Google now faces similar scrutiny in the US following the Department of Justice’s announcement of a new investigation into digital platforms.

The department said it will look into “widespread concerns” that Big Tech firms such as Google have stifled innovation and competition through their market dominance.

Search ranking is expected to dominate in the investigation of Google, although sources told Reuters that all of the company’s businesses, including its widespread advertising platform and the Android mobile platform, will be investigated.

The most dominant mobile operating system in the world, Android commands a whopping 76pc market share and has attracted scrutiny from the EU’s antitrust investigators already.

In July 2018, Google was hit with a €4.34bn fine from the European Commission in relation to its business practices around Android. EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager ruled that, since 2011, Google imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search.

Google later appealed the commission’s decision.

– PA Media, with additional reporting from Elaine Burke

Google corporate headquarters. Image: wolterke/Depositphotos