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posted by janrinok on Friday January 14 2022, @02:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-be-evil dept.

As the EU finalizes its Digital Markets Act, Google is making a last-ditch lobbying effort with ads, emails, and social media posts targeted at politicians:

Google is making a last-ditch effort to change the EU's incoming laws on Big Tech with a flurry of advertising, emails and targeted social media posts aimed at politicians and officials in Brussels.

As EU policymakers put the finishing touches to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), executives at Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley are stepping up their efforts to water down parts of the legislation that they fear may have a severe impact on their business. "Top executives in California have known about the DMA all along but they are only waking up now," said one Google insider.

The campaign includes direct lobbying by Google, but also by several trade associations that the search engine giant funds.

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 harm small businesses. She said she had been invited to discuss her views with Google, at a time of her choosing, and had been invited to an event organised by the company on the benefits of digital marketing to small businesses.

[...] One campaign against a proposed ban on targeted advertising, which appeared on Twitter and in the trade press, was led by IAB Europe. "I'm being targeted with a nearly unrecognisable ad aimed at EU officials promoting false info and solely referring to studies of IAB," Alderik Oosthoek, a policy adviser at the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter.

[...] Google is concerned that the legislation will prevent it from promoting businesses that it owns, such as its travel and hospitality comparison services, on its search results pages, a practice known as "self-preferencing". This could force Google to "change the design of general search pages fundamentally", said Thomas Hoppner, at the law firm Hausfeld.

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  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @03:37AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @03:37AM (#1212594)

    Google loves to cry foul then throw money at politicians to get what they want, lie about their own actions and goals. Just like republicans, no wonder Rs don't like Big Tech, they hate the competition.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @07:11AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @07:11AM (#1212632)

      That whole "Don't be evil" thing is gone, then?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by FuzzyTheBear on Friday January 14 2022, @08:27PM

        by FuzzyTheBear (974) on Friday January 14 2022, @08:27PM (#1212753)

        Made a wooooshing sound as it went flying through the window ages ago.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday January 14 2022, @08:42AM (1 child)

    by bradley13 (3053) on Friday January 14 2022, @08:42AM (#1212643) Homepage Journal

    The MEPs’ position on targeted ads is crazy,” said one person close to Google, adding that such a ban would lead to more pop-up windows asking for consent

    Or...they could stop with the targeted-ad nonsense. Then we wouldn't have those annoying popups to begin with. It's sort of like the "notifications" popups - who has every said "yes, please annoy me with your notifications"? No one wants them, and no one wants their data tracked by a zillion third-party services.

    Anyway, studies have shown that this kind of microtargeted ads don't actually work, except to increase the fees that Google charges the advertisers. The targeting that works - and that every competent advertiser has always done - is to advertise where your potential customers are. Mercedes probably shouldn't advertise on "super couponing" sites, but probably should advertise to horse owners. Trying to microtarget ads winds up sending Mercedes ads to people who have just bought a car - useless at best, counterproductive at worst.

    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by quietus on Friday January 14 2022, @12:11PM

    by quietus (6328) on Friday January 14 2022, @12:11PM (#1212654) Journal
    I've seen one-page Facebook ads -- all about how Facebook is stimulating creativity and entrepreneurship etcetera -- repeatedly in local newspapers over the past year.