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The Lawyer Behind Google’s Strategy on Antitrust, China and Everything

Kent Walker is the most powerful person in tech you’ve never heard of. 

Kent Walker during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on social media influence in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Kent Walker during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on social media influence in the 2016 U.S. elections.Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

If Google is feeling pressure from the government scrutiny bearing down, the company isn’t showing it. Last Friday the search giant announced it was paying $2.1 billion to buy Fitbit, the struggling maker of fitness gadgets. The deal was Google’s second multi-billion dollar acquisition in the last several months, flying in the face of repeated critiques from public officials that large tech companies are stifling competition by buying startups.

“By attempting this deal at this moment, Alphabet Inc.’s Google is signaling that it will continue to flex and expand its power in spite of this immense scrutiny,” David Cicilline, the Democratic congressman leading Congress’s investigation into antitrust issues in tech, said in a statement.