Google is making a final push to change the EU’s new big tech laws with a flurry of targeted ads, emails and social media posts aimed at politicians and officials in Brussels.
As EU policymakers put the finishing touches on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), executives at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley are stepping up efforts to relax parts of the legislation that they say could have a serious impact on their business.
“California’s top executives have known about DMA from the start, but they’re not waking up until now,” a Google insider said.
The campaign includes direct lobbying from Google, but also from several professional associations that the search engine giant finances.
Kim van Sparrentak, a Dutch MEP, said she had noticed a marked escalation in lobbying in recent weeks, with the message that curbing Google would hurt small businesses.
She said she was invited to discuss her point of view with Google, at a time of her choosing, and was invited to an event hosted by the company on the benefits of digital marketing for small businesses.
She was also approached by the Connected Commerce Council, whose partners include Google and Amazon, with a letter signed by small business owners saying, “Please don’t make it difficult for my business. “
Other MPs and officials said their Twitter feeds had recently been filled with announcements from tech lobby groups on issues of particular concern to Google. “My diet is overdrive,” said an EU diplomat.
A campaign against a proposal to ban targeted advertising, which appeared on Twitter and in the trade press, was carried out by IAB Europe.
“I am the target of an almost unrecognizable advertisement aimed at EU officials promoting false information and referring only to IAB studies,” Alderik Oosthoek, policy adviser to the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter.
The DMA, which has progressed smoothly so far in the European Parliament and is expected to come into effect in early 2023, aims to curb the power of the big ‘gatekeepers’ of technology, companies like Google whose platforms dominate. the online economy. Last week, the German competition watchdog officially defined Google as a “gatekeeper”, opening it up to tighter national oversight.