Yesterday twelve U.S. Congressmen signed, sealed, and delivered a letter (embedded below) to members of the European Parliament lobbying their counterparts to leave Google alone. According to the Financial Times, at least three letters from American legislators were sent as part of a "rare and concerted public intervention" on Google's behalf.
The letter obtained by Valleywag argued that by taking it easy on "U.S. based Internet companies" (code word for Google), the EU could promote "a vibrant, open Internet and the free flow of information around the globe." Funny because promoting a vibrant and open Internet was kinda what the EU was trying to do.
Tomorrow members of the European Parliament will vote on whether Google's search engine, which has more than 90 percent of the market in much of Europe, should be split from Google's other money-making services for abusing its near monopoly as the people's portal.
Another amusing aspect of this transcontinental lobbying effort? Signatories like Representative Darrell Issa have argued against net neutrality right here on American soil. Issa and "social media ace" Jared Polis, who also signed the letter below, have intervened on Google's behalf before, back when the Federal Trade Commission was considering an antitrust lawsuit against the tech corporation in 2012.
They waged an epistolary campaign then too. According to The Hill, Issa (a Republican) argued that the FTC would "step beyond its legal power to regulate anti-competitive business practices" and Polis (a Democrat) went further, threatening the FTC that "a lawsuit against Google would be disastrous and could prompt Congress to limit the agency's authority."
The letter signed by Issa and Polis also included Anna Eschoo, Jason Chaffetz, Zoe Lofgren, Kevin Yoder, Mike Honda, Blake Farenthold, Tony Cardenas, Peter Roskam, Eric Swalwell, and George Holding. A source mentioned that Jerry Brown is playing pen pal as well.
Capitol Hill hit back at EU lawmakers on Tuesday for politicising an antitrust investigation into Google, as tensions rose ahead of a European parliamentary vote calling for the possible break-up the technology group.
In a rare and concerted public intervention on Google's regulatory travails in Europe, senior US politicians expressed "alarm" over a draft resolution advocating the potential unbundling of search from Google's other commercial internet services.
Although the letter below doesn't mention Google outright, there's a clear link back. The upcoming vote, which is expected to pass, is European Union's latest attempt to yell "antitrust" in Google's ear. But it's a non-binding resolution—more of a signal than anything else. And the only entity that would be bothered enough to send in the calvary is good ole GOOG.
[Top image via Getty]