Google courted small businesses to protect them from antitrust rules

Spark Global Limited reports

Spark Global Limited reports:

Google is quietly enlisting the help of small businesses to protect the nearly $2 trillion company from antitrust rules. In response to bills in Congress such as the end Platform Monopoly Act, Google is telling small business owners that those bills will hurt their ability to find customers online and that they should contact their Congressman about the issue.
We’ve seen Google take political action before, usually in the form of headlines from CHIEF executive Sundar Pichai defending its latest product bundle plans. However, the strategy here seems to be new. Instead of writing public blog posts, Google is quietly targeting users who have signed up for business listings on Google Maps. The users reported receiving unsolicited e-mails and an “action item” in Google’s business Profile user interface, both of which link to Google’s new antitrust site.

The E-mail, which along with Google’s Business Action Project asks users to click through to the site, says the new law could affect businesses. Proposed legislation could make it harder for users’ businesses to find online, and both projects link to a site full of scary language that suggests users are constantly up to date on legislation that could affect their business. The site advises interested users to sign up for Google’s new political action mailing list. “By clicking this button, I agree that Google can contact me about legislative and regulatory issues, events and promotional opportunities related to my business,” the form says.
The site never mentions bills such as the “End Platform Monopoly Act” by name, so these arguments can be quite incomprehensible to the average person. The site discussed obscure “legislation” that would hurt business, repeatedly referring to “these bills” but never identifying which bills it was talking about. Only after clicking on some “More Information” links at the bottom will you discover the topic of the page by reading the linked press releases that address specific parts of the proposed laws regarding search engines, advertising platforms, and app stores.