Friday 13 December 2019

Google boss Larry Page: Europe needs to be more like Silicon Valley and support technology

Larry Page right, with Sergey Brin of Google
Larry Page right, with Sergey Brin of Google

Andew Trotman

Google chief executive Larry Page has criticised European governments, saying they need act more like Silicon Valley and support the technology sector.

The 41-year-old said the search giant is happy to invest in big ideas to benefit societies, but politicians must start doing the same.

“Why can’t we get more of these things going in Europe?” Mr Page told the Financial Times. “Like celebrating technology, having a friendly environment for it, having more investment in science and a basic understanding and entrepreneurialism and making money and moving quickly and kind of the things that are good about Silicon Valley.”

Mr Page is ready to put Google's $62bn cash pile to good use but admits he is currently unsure of the best way to do that.

“We’re in a bit of uncharted territory,” he said. “We’re trying to figure it out. How do we use all these resources . . . and have a much more positive impact on the world?"

Google has spent vast sums of money pushing the boundaries of the technology sector. Google X, the company’s research lab, is to make 100 prototype self-driving cars, which will be limited to 25mph. Tests with members of the public on private roads will begin next month and they will move over to public roads within two years, the company said.

Last year it unveiled high-altitude balloons which it is hoped will bring internet to the two-thirds of the global population currently without web access.

Google's best-known product, Google Glass, was released earlier this year after being in development for two years.

It emerged earlier this week that the US company is now developing a pill that could detect cancer and other diseases.

Last month Google reported third-quarter revenues of $16.52bn, up 20pc from a year earlier. Net income fell 5.3pc, to $2.81bn.

Capital expenditures hit $7.4bn in the first nine months of the year, up 45pc from $5.1bn in the same period in 2013.

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