Inside Google & Alphabet - July 17th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jul 17th, 2019)

Bike Stations on Google Maps / Stadia Gets an AMA / Congressional Hearings

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$GOOG (09:35 AM EDT): $1,153.83, +0.25 (+0.02%) // More info

1. Facing questions at a House hearing Tuesday about the company's possible antitrust behavior, a Google exec tried making the case that the tech giant does have competition. The hearing was held by a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on antitrust and included Adam Cohen, Google's director of economic policy. Part of his opening remarks included the statement, “In our core search business, consumers can choose among a range of options: Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and many more." Not sure how that's going to fly when Bing has 2.51 percent market share, DuckDuckGo's is about 1 percent, and Yahoo is for the most part powered by Bing. Google also argued that it is not a travel monopoly and explained that the controversial Project Dragonfly, a project to set up a search engine for China, has been "terminated." The four-hour hearing is available online. -- BUSINESS INSIDER

2. Google Maps has expanded its bike-sharing station mapping. In spring 2018, Google teamed up with Citi Bike to show bike-sharing stations around New York City. Later in the year, Google partnered with Lime to show available bikes and scooters in 13 cities worldwide. Now, Google has expanded its bike-sharing information on Google Maps to 23 new cities worldwide, with more to be added soon. If your city doesn't have bike-sharing information yet, check out this Google Map of more than 2,700 bike-sharing locations around the world. -- VENTUREBEAT

3. We could be in for some new Google Stadia details thanks to a Reddit AMA. Google Stadia director of product Andrey Doronichev will be appearing on an /r/Stadia to answer questions about the new streaming game service at 1 p.m. EDT July 18. This will not be one of those AMAs where Google has a list of approved or unapproved topics, so anything goes. Currently most of what we know about Stadia is available in an online FAQ which hasn't been updated since the beginning of the month. -- 9TO5 GOOGLE  

4. Google has banned a major app developer from its Google Play store. CooTek is a publicly-traded company that at one point had hundreds of apps in the Google Play store. Google has banned it from both the Play store and from its ad platform for the intrusive, disruptive advertising used by the company in its apps. Google has been fighting lots of fires in Google Play as of late; app developer DO Global was banned in April for intrusive advertising, while recent studies have found Google's app store loaded with counterfeit apps and rife with a new kind of malware called Agent Smith. -- BUZZFEED NEWS

5. Google has been having issues with third party Google Home integrations. The author of the article noted his own issues linking to Hive Home products, but also pointed out integration problems with Philips Hue and Eufy. Complicated workarounds sometimes work, sometimes dont. Google has yet to comment. -- THE INQUIRER

6. Google warned Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong about possible attacks on his account. Wong has been a prominent protester in Hong Kong since 2014 , and was recently released from prison after serving a month of a sentence related to 2014 protests. Google confirmed that they warned Wong that "government-backed attackers" might be trying to steal his password, but provided no further details. -- SHANGHAIIST  

7. Google may be expanding in Chicago. It's already got an office in the Fulton Market District, but has been considering a number of proposed developments that could expand its presence to about a million square feet. Google currently has over a thousand employees in Chicago. -- CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS

8. Google's ban on tech support ads has had some collateral damage. Last year, Google banned ads from third-party repair services because of severe fraud issues on its platform. Now small repair shops are calling foul, saying that a promised verification system for legitimate businesses has not materialized, and pointing out the inconsistency in allowing Best Buy's Geek Squad to run ads, since it's also a third-party repair site. One company, iFixit, has written an open letter to the FTC about the issue. -- THE REGISTER

9. Google India is facing CCI fines. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been investigating Google since May over antitrust concerns. If it is found guilty of antitrust actions, it could face a fine of over rs 136 crore (over $19.7 million dollars.) The CCI fined Google rs 135.86 crore last year over antitrust issues. -- THE PRINT

10. Google has pledged $348,000 to Seoul National University to back its AI research. Google Korea chief executive John Lee will attend a memorandum of understanding signing tomorrow. It is expected that this initial pledge by Google will spur additional support from Korean companies. -- PULSE

Tara Calishain has been writing about search engines since 1996, when she wrote the Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research. She's since authored or co-authored several other search-related books, including Google Hacks. Tara is obsessed with all things related to online information collections. You can say hi at @ResearchBuzz on Twitter.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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