Business

Client focus is the most effective reply to antitrust scrutiny

Alphabet and Google are facing multiple government antitrust cases, but the company believes continuing to serve consumers is a winning strategy.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Alphabet and Google face tightened government scrutiny, including an antitrust lawsuit filed in December, the third since October. It could take years to resolve the legal conflict with government regulators. According to Google’s head of marketing, a constant focus on the consumer is the best answer.

Google will continue to resonate with its users as the government scrutinizes big tech companies, Lorraine Twohill, the company’s chief marketing officer, said recently at CNBC’s CMO Exchange.

“We are by far the most helpful company in their lives and we must continue to do so,” Twohill said at the CNBC virtual event Thursday.

Twohill said user trust is a “core part” of Google’s DNA and consists of three components. This includes providing information that is accurate and up-to-date, and improving privacy and security measures to keep users safe. Around 200 million users have already passed the platform’s privacy review, she said.

“If we continue to maintain a close relationship with our consumers and users by being helpful … that is the right answer for me right now,” said Twohill.

Then SVP speaks for global marketing at Google Lorraine Twohill on the stage of Creativity & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in the discussion panel presented by Google during the Advertising Week 2015 AWXII on the Times Center Stage on September 30, 2015 in New York City.

Laura Cavanaugh | Getty Images

The government cases allege that the company used anti-competitive and exclusive contracts to maintain a continued monopoly on online search and to prevent competitors from accessing many of these sales search channels.

Earlier this month, the company called the case “a misleading attack” on the advertising technology business while addressing claims that the company allegedly partnered with Facebook to set prices and minimize competition.

While government attorneys claim that the tech giant’s business practices are limiting consumer access to competing technologies, Google executives focus on the argument of delivering the services consumers want and improving them.

Google’s economic policy director Adam Cohen responded to the recent lawsuit in a blog post that the complaint read: “We shouldn’t have been working to improve search and we should actually be less useful to you.”

Google isn’t the only big tech company under scrutiny. Facebook has gone through a number of government antitrust proceedings, including a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission last month and a number of attorneys general from 48 territories and states alleging the tech beast used its power to order Eliminate competitor threats when acquiring platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram.

Amazon could potentially face increased government scrutiny under the Biden administration, while Apple’s App Store has also been a focus for potential regulatory action.

With the largest tech companies in the world’s history facing antitrust scrutiny – sometimes intertwined, as in the case of the billions of dollars that Google pays Apple to use as the default search engine for iPhones – it is important not to put them all together, according to Twohill.

“It’s important not to put all of the big technologies in one bucket. We’re all very different, we think and work very differently,” she said.

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