Beltway legacy conservative think tanks and organizations have now joined hands with search behemoth Google to protect the monopolies of massive Silicon Valley tech companies, according to a report from Wired quoting leaked audio from an internal company meeting.
In light of recent criticism of big tech companies from right-of-center and conservative circles, it seems Google is seeking to make inroads with right-leaning Americans by appealing to establishment conservative publications such as National Review, and the neoconservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.
In Wired’s leaked audio, Google’s US Director of Public Policy, Adam Kovacevich, spoke of the company’s desire to improve its public image on the American political right.
“I think one of the directives we’ve gotten very clearly from Sundar [Pichai, Google’s CEO], his leadership is to build deeper relationships with conservatives. I think we’ve recognized that the company is generally seen as liberal by policymakers.”
Despite frequently claiming to be “unbiased,” Google has indeed acquired a reputation for staunch corporate leftism in many conservative circles. Employees of the company were revealed as advocates for deplatforming content creators and publishers deemed inconvenient to the political left in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election.
Kovacevich would go on to describe the company’s successful PR efforts in regards to the American Enterprise Institute, when speaking about an effort to counter a New York Times article that suggested breaking up Google.
“Just to give you an example, last weekend The New York Times Magazine cover story was all about breaking up Google. Among the people who wrote op-eds and blog posts rebutting that Times piece were two conservative think-tank officials who we work with closely—one from the American Enterprise Institute and one from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who both attended [the reception].”
Kovacevich went on to recognize that many of the company’s liberal and progressive employees were unhappy that Google had been an official sponsor of CPAC- rationalizing the sponsorship by describing it as an essential element of Google’s influence operations targeting conservatives.
Google’s attempt to woo conservatives also seems to have been effective enough to get an article from a Google-funded think tank published by National Review, pushing back against calls on the right to recognize Google as a monopoly liable to anti-trust enforcement.
Former Google, Amazon Operative Slated to Lead Biden DOJ Antitrust Division
Putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
The Biden administration is actively considering a career operative of Google and Amazon to lead the Department of Justice antitrust division, The Intercept reported on Friday.
Renata Hesse previously worked in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division during the Obama administration.
Renata Hesse has led the Antitrust Division before so this is Biden's signal to the left that he loves recycling. Hesse has also worked for Google, Amazon, and has a long history as a Silicon Valley lawyer focused on IP law, satisfying the oligarchs. Balance. Build back better.
— Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) January 15, 2021
Hesse advertises working with Amazon as an attorney to help the megacorporation avoid liability for trust monopoly action.
Hesse acted as counsel for Google during 2018 Federal Trade Commission hearings, arguing that Google maintains its monopoly share of the market for search engine queries on the basis of its product alone. Hesse ignored Google’s anti-competitive practices, such as shutting out competitors from search results.
Hesse would presumably oversee the DOJ’s Antitrust Division as it proceeds with historic antitrust litigation against Google. The corporate attorney would presumably be pressured to recuse from the case, unless she’s determined to deliver a favorable outcome for her former clients regardless of existing antitrust law.
At least one other lawyer who has litigated cases against Facebook and Google is under consideration for the Antitrust division.
Jonathan Kanter, a plaintiff's lawyer who helped design the cases against Google and Facebook, remains "in the mix" for the same job, sources indicate.
— David Dayen (@ddayen) January 15, 2021
The Antitrust Division of the DOJ is intended to hold America’s most powerful and unaccountable corporations responsible. Hesse has actively fought against such outcomes for years as a Silicon Valley-aligned attorney. Her appointment as antitrust attorney of the DOJ would indicate that Biden intends to pursue a union of the federal government with Big Tech and America’s most powerful oligarchs.
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