Google to invest $7 billion in U.S. in 2021

Google announced Thursday that it plans to invest over $7 billion in the U.S. this year and create at least 10,000 new full-time jobs.

The spending is specifically earmarked for offices and data centers in the U.S. as the tech giant copes with the surge in online traffic - driven by more users and advertisers flocking to the web during the health crisis.

The total spending number, however, is down compared to the past two years.

As for its home state of California - Google plans to spend $1 billion at a time when other firms are leaving Silicon Valley. The area has seen a corporate exodus as of late due to complaints of high rents and high state taxes.

Google’s spending plans come amid ongoing scrutiny of its business practices.

Sources tell Reuters - Justice Department investigators are probing whether a Google plan to limit the use of online user tracking software known as cookies - will harm the competition.

The U.S. has been investigating Google's search and ad business for anti-trust behavior for nearly two years… And sued Google in October for allegedly using anticompetitive tactics to maintain the dominance of its search engine.

Congress has also been exploring Google parent Alphabet and fellow tech giants Facebook, Apple and Amazon for anti-competitive behavior.

Shares of Google parent Alphabet - up about 18 percent so far this year.