Google is quietly enlisting the help of small businesses to help protect the nearly $2 trillion company from antitrust regulations. In response to Congressional bills like the "Ending Platform Monopolies Act [arstechnica.com]," which would ban platform owners from favoring their own services over the competition, Google is telling small business owners that these bills would hurt their ability to find customers online and that they should contact their congressperson about the issue.
We've seen Google do political action before, usually in the form of headline-grabbing blog posts [www.blog.google] from CEO Sundar Pichai defending the latest product-bundling scheme. The strategy here seems new, though; rather than writing a public blog post, Google is quietly targeting users who have registered business listings on Google Maps. These users report receiving unsolicited emails [twitter.com] and an "action item [nearmedia.co]" in the Google Business Profile UI that both link to Google's new anti-antitrust site.