A new report from The Wall Street Journal argues that Google’s international ambitions have been thwarted by the US State Department’s refusal to grant Google the right to fly non-essential personnel, including US citizens.
According to the WSJ, the US has not allowed Google to use its corporate jets to fly the same number of employees as it allows other foreign companies to do.
Google has spent more than $1 billion to fly its employees and their families around the globe.
The WSJ reported that US government officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are concerned about Google’s ambitions in places like India, China and Brazil.
Google’s presence in those countries is “likely to be limited,” the WSJD reported, citing officials.
The State Department has been a key ally of Google in its search efforts, and Google is the biggest user of its search engine.
In its report, the WSIJ also said the State Department “has long resisted granting Google the same flexibility in operating outside the United States as other US firms.”
In fact, Google has been able to continue operating in a number of countries without a US passport, despite the State Dept. being one of its main allies.
Google said it has received no such requests from the State Departments office of foreign affairs.
In fact the State Secretary of California and the State Director of the US Embassy in India have both told The WSJ that they have received no requests from any US State department office to allow Google to operate in India.
The State Dept said it is not commenting on the WSJV report, citing a policy of not commenting to The Wall Journal.
The US State Dept did not respond to requests for comment.
The report, however, does raise a few questions: Why is the State department giving Google such a free hand to operate around the planet?
Why does the State see no issue with this?
And why do Google and other multinationals feel compelled to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get around the US?
We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update if we hear back.