White House to hold roundtable with tech executives

Published : 12:13, Nov 30, 2018 | Updated : 12:18, Nov 30, 2018

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the opening of the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/file photoThe Trump administration, which has had sometimes strained relations with high-technology companies, will meet with top tech executives next week for a roundtable discussion on innovation, several companies attending said on Thursday.

Chief executives expected to participate include Microsoft Corp's Satya Nadella, Alphabet Inc's Sundar Pichai and Oracle Corp's Safra Catz. Microsoft and Oracle confirmed they would take part.

President Donald Trump has had many run-ins with technology companies since he took office, including his accusations without evidence of bias by Alphabet's Google, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc and "trying to silence" people.

“I think that Google and Facebook and Twitter ... treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters at the WhiteHouse in August.

Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with Pichai to discuss Republican allegations of bias against conservatives - a charge Google has denied.

The roundtable, to be held next Thursday, will also have Blackstone Group LP Chief Executive Officer Steve Schwarzman and Carnegie Mellon University President FarnamJahanian.

The White House declined immediate comment. Blackstone declined to comment and Carnegie Mellon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

White House adviser Larry Kudlow said in early October that the administration was working on such a meeting.

"We're going to have a little conference - the president will preside over it - we will have big internet companies, big social mediacompanies, search companies," Kudlow said at the time. Also attending, he added, would be "some who are dissatisfied with thosecompanies."

Trump met in June 2017 with the heads of 18 U.S. technology companies including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft, seeking their help to make the government’s computing systems more efficient.