Google again came under fire for being anti-Trump in late-July, when its search results for “presidential candidates” omitted both Trump and Gary Johnson from being displayed along a graphic bar along the top of the page. Google blamed the omissions on a technical snafu related to the candidates’ primaries having ended.
While Google is unlikely to face any real backlash from the current dustup with Trump, it is facing several antitrust challenges in Europe, where it’s been accused of using its 90% market share there to favor its own services in search results, among other charges. Google was also recently hit with a 438 million rubles ($6.75 million) fine in Russia for violations of Russian antitrust laws, though the charges weren’t related to its search results.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is not the only tech giant that has faced such criticisms; Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was accused of having a liberal bias earlier this year, with claims that it was suppressing conservative-slanted news from hitting its trending topics feed. An internal investigation launched by the social media behemoth found no evidence of such a bias, though Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) did announce that changes would be made in how trending topics were validated.
Given their immense potential to influence the global narrative through massive userbases, as evidenced by the fears of their alleged misuses of that power, it’s unsurprising that shares of each of the two companies were owned by more of the hedge funds in our database at the end of June than any other company. 187 different institutional investors in our database were long Alphabet’s Class A or Class C shares (or both) at the end of June, owning $23.55 billion worth of those shares, while 148 funds were shareholders of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), owning $15.24 billion worth of its shares.