Two of the GOP's most prominent big tech critics previously sought work with Google: 'I dodged a bullet.'
- Two of the
GOP's fiercest Big Techcritics sought to work with
- Mike Davis and Garrett Ventry reportedly offered to mend the firm's relationship with conservatives.
- Google has faced allegations of anti-conservative bias from a number of GOP lawmakers.
Two of the GOP's most vocal big tech critics reportedly sought to work with Google in 2019, offering to improve the company's relationship with Republicans.
Mike Davis is the founder of the Internet Accountability Project, which calls for lawmakers to "rein in Big Tech before it's too late." In his role at the IAP, Davis regularly attacks "Big Tech monopolists" online, recently calling for the likes of Google, Amazon, and Facebook to be broken up. He previously oversaw the nominations of federal judges and White House appointees under the Trump administration.
Garrett Ventry currently works as chief of staff for Rep. Ken Buck, who has been dubbed the "new face of Republican antitrust." Ventry regularly shares articles detailing his boss's plans to take on the tech giants, and recently tweeted a quote from a New York Post story suggesting Big Tech firms were "getting away with murder."
While both men have since become much more vocal in their criticism of Big Tech companies, Politico reports the pair privately sought a deal with Google in 2019, offering to improve its image among Republicans.
Citing three anonymous sources, Politico reported Davis and Ventry offered to help Google "mend its relationship with conservatives" in a May 2019 meeting.
At the time, prominent Republican lawmakers such as Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and President Trump were accusing Google of maintaining an anti-conservative bias on its platform, stifling free speech. Trump went as far as to tweet sweeping allegations of bias directly at Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Just a few weeks after Davis and Ventry met with Google insiders, the Department of Justice announced a major antitrust probe in to the company.
Speaking to Politico, Davis acknowledged the meeting had taken place, said Google was just one among the many "law firms, lobby shops, corporations and other entities" he met with after leaving the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Less than six months after the meeting with Google, Davis launched the IAP. A report from Bloomberg last year revealed that Oracle, a rival of Google, was one of its backers.
"It didn't go anywhere. And that was back before we knew how bad Google really was. Thank God I didn't work with Google," he said. "I dodged a bullet." Ventry declined to comment.
Davis also said he had been educated over the course of months about "how bad" Google was for small businesses and the conservatives, according to the report. The pair also reportedly offered to act as communicators on behalf of Google among the
Insider approached Google for comment.
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