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Google shares rise by 2.7 percent hitting a record high despite antitrust investigations

Shares of Google’s parent company hit a record high on Monday despite facing pressure over antitrust investigations.

Tech giant Alphabet reached $1,397.81 per share, a rise of 2.7 per cent. 

It comes just a month after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down as leaders and new Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai, was handed a $240 million bonus.  

Trusted lieutenant Pichai, who has spent 15 years at Google, is now the public face of a company that is facing criticism from U.S. lawmakers as well as its employees over a number of issues ranging from privacy to monopoly. 

Shares of Google’s parent company hit a record high Monday despite antitrust investigations. The company’s rising share price over the last five days is pictured 

Tech giant Alphabet reached $1,397.81 per share, a rise of 2.7 per cent. The company's rising share price over the last month is pictured

Tech giant Alphabet reached $1,397.81 per share, a rise of 2.7 per cent. The company’s rising share price over the last month is pictured

It comes just a month after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down as leaders and new CEO, Sundar Pichai, was handed a $240 million bonus. The company's rising share price is pictured

It comes just a month after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down as leaders and new CEO, Sundar Pichai, was handed a $240 million bonus. The company’s rising share price is pictured 

Pichai will receive a hefty $240million in performance-based stock awards over the next three years, the highest ever promised to any executive of the search giant.

He will also take home $2million in annual salary starting 2020, according to a regulatory filing. 

Google has been facing pressure from privacy advocates over its collection and use of personal information to target advertising. It also faces allegations that it abuses its dominance in search and online advertising to push out rivals.

Google is the subject of antitrust inquiries from Congress, the Department of Justice and a contingency of states in the U.S. and from European authorities.

The company has also faced harsh criticism about the material on its services. Its video streaming business, YouTube, was fined $170 million to settle allegations it improperly collected personal data on children without their parents’ consent.

Alphabet — an umbrella corporation that the two created in 2015 — still boasts Google as its central fixture and key moneymaker.  

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in December last year that he hoped to have Justice Department investigations of the big tech platforms – Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc – completed next year.

The four tech companies have been lightning rods for regulator probes this year.

It was announced in July that the Department of Justice had opened a sweeping antitrust investigation of big technology companies to look at whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.

The move came as a growing number of lawmakers called for stricter regulation or even breaking up of the big tech companies, which have come under intense scrutiny following a series of scandals that compromised users’ privacy. 

Sundar Pichai will receive a hefty $240million in performance-based stock awards over the next three years, the highest ever promised to any executive of the search giant. He will also take home $2million in annual salary starting 2020, according to a regulatory filing

Google Inc.'s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google is the subject of antitrust inquiries from Congress, the Department of Justice and a contingency of states in the US

Google Inc.’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google is the subject of antitrust inquiries from Congress, the Department of Justice and a contingency of states in the US

Shares of Google's parent company Alphabet were down nearly 0.2 per cent by 4pm Tuesday

Shares of Google’s parent company Alphabet were down nearly 0.2 per cent by 4pm Tuesday 

In addition to the Justice investigations, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general and Congress are looking at one or more of the companies.

‘We started in earnest in July. It’s been moving very quickly,’ Barr told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council.

Google will likely face questions over how its algorithms determine what the public sees when they search for things online.

Critics say Google’s dominance in search has allowed it to squash rivals – notably because Google can show its own products above competitors’ or feature its own ads prominently. 

Google has also faced scrutiny over the practices it uses to get its search and other products featured on smartphones. Some say Google imposes too many self-serving regulations on smartphone makers who use Google’s Android operating system.

But Google might simply argue that Android users like Google products and want them on their phones.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk