Google is the biggest and the worst, and thus the most likely target of this backlash, but you can expect more of this to follow:
Google is facing blowback after one of its most prominent critics was fired from a think tank funded by the tech giant.
The incident is raising new questions about Google’s influence over think tanks and academic research.
The controversy has caught the attention of lawmakers, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) calling the firing “troubling” and warning academic institutions not to compromise their work for financial backers.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) also tweeted his support for the researchers pushed out of the think tank.
Barry Lynn and his Open Markets team researched economic competition issues as part of the New America think tank. New America has received significant funding from Google and from the family of Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt.
Lynn has long urged regulators to get tougher on Silicon Valley’s giants, calling them new monopolies, and in a post praised European regulators for leveling a record fine on Google.
“Google kicked us out of because we said that they’re a monopoly,” says Matt Stoller, a fellow on Lynn’s Open Markets team.