Google is attempting to drum up opposition to The American Innovation and Choice Online Act which would prevent big tech companies from being able to rank their own products and services higher than third-party rivals in their search results. File photo: Linda Parton, Nicole Glass Photography, Shutter Stock, licensed.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Google is attempting to drum up support from their users on Thursday when they sent out an email expressing the search giant’s opposition to a “tech break-up” bill, first introduced by Congress last year in an attempt to level the internet playing field between Big Tech and smaller players.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, originally introduced in June 2021, targets the economic dominance of technology giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, and could force these companies to make huge changes to their business models if they pass.
The bill would prohibit major internet platforms from “self-preferencing,” meaning that they could not discriminate against other businesses that rely on their services. For example, Google would not be able to rank their own companies or services higher than third-party rivals in their search results.
There are versions of the bill – which is enjoying bipartisan support – currently making their way through both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Late last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move forward with the proposed bills, which is obviously what prompted Google’s attempt this week to drum up opposition to it via an email campaign that includes a lengthy statement from Kent Walker, Global Affairs President and Chief Legal Officer of both Google and Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Google’s attempt this week to drum up opposition to it via an email campaign that includes a lengthy statement from Kent Walker, Global Affairs President and Chief Legal Officer of both Google and Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
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“Every day, millions of Americans use online services like Google Search, Maps and Gmail to find new information and get things done,” he said. “However, legislation being debated in the House and Senate could break these and other popular online services, making them less helpful and less secure, and damaging American competitiveness.”
Walker listed a series of anticipated issues that they bill would cause if passed, claiming that it would stifle American tech companies will essentially giving a free pass to foreign businesses
“These bills would impose one set of rules on American companies while giving a pass to foreign companies. And they would give the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies unprecedented power over the design of consumer products,” he said. “All of this would be a dramatic reversal of the approach that has made the U.S. a global technology leader, and risks ceding America’s technology leadership and threatening our national security, as bipartisan national security experts have warned.”
After going on to claim that the bill would decrease internet security and “break” features that help consumers and small businesses – such as Google Search and Maps – Walker urged readers to contact their local U.S. state senators and congressmen in an effort to derail the legislation.
“Tell them that digital tools are important to your business and ask them to oppose legislation that could disrupt your ability to reach your customers,” the email said.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act was the result of a 16-month investigation of the tech industry by the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, which concluded that companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook possess “monopoly power” and abuse it to prevent fair competition.
Earlier this week, the Internet Accountability Project (IAP) praised recent legislation saying it “would break up Big Tech’s stranglehold” and “free up small businesses to compete on a level playing field.”
“Big Tech’s millions don’t stand a chance against the groundswell of grassroots support for putting an end to their unfair and anticompetitive practices. We thank these senators for their leadership and patriotism. We encourage them to continue their hard work so these bipartisan bills can pass the full Senate,”
Mike Davis, Founder and President of the Internet Accountability Project.