December 2, 2018 / 5:32 PM / in 14 days

Google CEO hearing in U.S. House likely to be postponed: Goodlatte

FILE PHOTO: Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will likely put off until next week a hearing with Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai on the Alphabet Inc unit’s social media practices because of the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, Chairman Bob Goodlatte said on Sunday.

Pichai had agreed to testify before the panel over Republican concerns that the company is biased against conservatives after it skipped a high-profile Senate hearing. Google has denied it is biased toward conservatives.

The hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, the same day a state funeral will be held for Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Goodlatte said in an interview with Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” that he expected the hearing to be rescheduled for next week.

“But we expect that to occur and it’s very, very important that it do occur,” he said.

In addition to queries about possible political bias, lawmakers may also examine Google’s potential investments in China.

Google previously told U.S. lawmakers it was considering options to offer additional services in China, but declined to detail plans for addressing Chinese censorship.

The company has come under criticism after reports it was considering re-entering China’s search engine market and would comply with its internet censorship and surveillance policies.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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