Bengaluru/San Francisco — Alphabet’s expenses from its Google search business grew more slowly in the second quarter, while revenue rose more steeply than analysts had anticipated. That boosted profit above Wall Street targets and pushed shares up 3.6% in after-hours trading on Monday. Google’s dominance in online advertising has been challenged this year by the antitrust battle over its Android mobile software, which led to a $5bn fine for the quarter, and other regulatory actions, including new European privacy rules. Government pressure to improve moderation of user-created content has forced Google to hire more analysts. YouTube, a Google-owned streaming service, has increased spending on video content to keep consumers from shifting to offerings from Netflix and expanding media conglomerates such as AT&T. But those issues have yet to halt Alphabet, which has grown quarterly revenue by at least 20% year-on-year for two straight years. "There was never a question about Google’s d...

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