Google has a lot of competition

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gestures during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on January 22, 2020.

(Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the company has offered a competitive platform that has lowered advertiser prices, giving consumers more options, according to the executive’s prepared comments before Wednesday’s hearing before the Chamber Antimonopoly Subcommittee.

“A competitive digital advertising market offers publishers and advertisers, and therefore consumers, an enormous number of options,” said Pichai. “For example, competition in ads, from Twitter, Instagram, Comcast and others, has helped reduce online advertising costs by 40% in the past 10 years, with these savings passed on to consumers through pricing Lower”.

However, Google is still the largest digital advertising platform by market share. Last year, Google had 31.6% of total spending on digital advertising with Facebook and Amazon with 22.7% and 7.8% respectively, according to eMarketer.

The statement comes before Pichai joins Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the House Antitrust Subcommittee on Wednesday. The committee’s investigation is expected to result in a report and legislative proposals on how to tackle antitrust issues in the digital market. Potential laws could inform how state regulators will crack down on anti-competitive practices in the future.

The most common critics of Google ask questions about whether it favors its own products or whether it suppresses competitors through its dominance in search and digital advertising. The company has already faced fines from the European Commission’s competition authority for its shopping search tool and its Android mobile operating system, which Pichai said in its prepared comments that it was “deliberately” created to encourage competition.

Pichai continues to cite Amazon’s Alexa, Twitter, Snapchat, and WhatsApp owned by Facebook as competitive platforms where people get information.

“In areas such as travel and real estate, Google faces strong competition for search queries from many companies that are experts in those areas,” Pichai said in written comments. “Today’s competitive landscape is nothing like 5 years ago, let alone 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google Search. People have more ways to search for information than ever.”

Google is facing antitrust investigations along the same lines by the Justice Department and 50 attorneys general who are investigating Google’s search and Android companies. That is expected to result in a lawsuit that could span issues ranging from its search product to the digital advertising market, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.

The company is also likely to face questions about its role in allowing misinformation to go viral on its platforms, such as YouTube, which has struggled to contain information on particularly damaging pandemics.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

LOOK: Why Sundar Pichai can have the hardest job in Silicon Valley?