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Google CEO agrees to attend upcoming House hearing

The closed-door gathering is expected to include discussions about President Donald Trump's recent allegations that Google has been rigging the results of its influential search engine.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the annual Google I/O developers conference.Stephen Lam / Reuters file

Google's standoff with Washington appears to be over, for now.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai agreed on Friday to attend an upcoming hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee following a closed-door meeting with a group of 12 Republicans.

"As we've done for over a decade, including testifying to Congress 22 times since 2008, we remain committed to continuing an active dialogue with Members from both sides of the aisle, working proactively with Congress on a variety of issues, explaining how our products help millions of American consumers and businesses, and answering questions as they arise," Pichai said in a statement. " I am personally committed to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in due course."

Google had recently clashed with the Senate Intelligence Committee, declining to send one of its senior executives to testify alongside Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Google had offered to send its senior vice president of global affairs.

Sandberg and Dorsey testified alongside an empty chair and "Google" placard.

Google has been the subject of growing attacks from Republicans, who have accused the company's dominant search engine of being biased against conservatives and President Donald Trump. The president has echoed those concerns, which Google has denied.

Friday's meeting, held in the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca., included 12 Republican lawmakers.

“The American people want transparency and Google today is showing its commitment to that principles," McCarthy said in an emailed statement. "We will continue to work toward that goal over the coming weeks and months.”

Both Trump and some U.S. lawmakers also have been raising the possibility of asking government regulators to investigate whether Google has abused its power to thwart competition through its dominant search engine and other widely used services that include Gmail, YouTube, the Chrome web browser and its Android software that runs most of the world's smartphones.

CORRECTION (Sept. 29, 2018, 12:30 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the committee with which Google clashed. It was the Senate Intelligence Committee, not the Senate Judiciary Committee.