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Google outlines $13bn US investment


Google plans to spend more than $13bn (£10.1bn) this year, as it builds data centres and offices across the US.

The search giant promoted its plans in a blog post on Wednesday, saying the investments would spur the creation of more than 10,000 construction jobs.

The firm will also add tens of thousands to its workforce, doubling its presence in states such as Georgia.

Google's emphasis on its US investments comes amid wider concerns about slowing business spending in the US.

Big tech firms such as Google have also faced criticism that they have not contributed as widely to the economy by way of jobs, taxes and and other support as the corporate giants of previous eras.

In the post, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the company had hired more than 10,000 people in the US last year and invested $9bn.

That figure will grow to $13bn in 2019 and include major expansions in 14 states, including Oklahoma, South Carolina, Ohio and Nebraska.

Google expects 2019 to be the second year in a row it grows faster outside of the Bay Area than in it, becoming a presence in 24 of 50 states, he said.

"I'm proud to say that our US footprint is growing rapidly," Mr Pichai said.

The investments the firm highlighted include previously announced plans to expand in New York city.

Unlike Amazon, which has also said it would build a New York campus, Google's commitment was not accompanied by a subsidy package - a move that won the firm praise last year.

However, the firm's growth has spurred controversy elsewhere, amid fears of gentrification.

The firm's commuter buses have been targeted in San Francisco. Last year, it also dropped plans for offices in a trendy district of Berlin after opposition by local campaigners.

The investments come as Google's parent company, Alphabet, more than doubled its profits last year to more than $30bn, while revenue increased more than 23% to almost $137bn.

Despite those gains, investors have questioned Alphabet's rising costs.

The firm's capital expenditures increased to $25.1bn last year and operating expenses exceeded $50bn.

On a call with financial analysts, Alphabet's chief financial officer said the firm remained committed to investments, but that spending was likely to "moderate significantly".


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