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GOOGLE.COM (ALPHABET INC.)

Sergey Brin and Larry Page dropped out of their Stanford PhD programs to co-found Google in 1998. In 2015, Google was reorganized under the Alphabet Inc. umbrella. Page went from CEO of Google to Alphabet’s CEO while Brin became Alphabet’s President. Page and Brin are 2 of the top 15 richest people in the world. Together they have accumulated a combined net worth of more than $105 billion. Through Google (Alphabet’s cash cow), Brin and Page control over 90% of all organic search. This de facto search monopoly translates to a worrisome amount of control over both media and product exposure. But more importantly, at a very basic level, they control the means by which the vast majority of people get facts and information.

As the dominant search engine, and a de facto monopoly, Google has enormous power; searches are used to determine basic information and factual accuracy. But what if Google, where both the employees and managers have an overwhelming political bias to the left, skewed search results? That appears, according to a Wall Street Journal study, to be exactly what happens. The Journal analyzed 2000 searches and found the following biases:

  • 31% liberal
  • 22% conservative
  • 47% neutral

That means less than half of all search results did not have some political bias, more often than not that bias was to the left. A 9% difference may not seem huge, but given the massive use of Google, that translates into billions more search results with a liberal bias. And most elections are decided by less than 9%.

Nowhere is Google's political bias so apparent as in the Google Doodles that appear on the Google homepage. They may seem lightheared, but they are heavyhanded in conveying political context. So much so that we created a separate section to analyze the Doodles.

If you doubt Google's politcal bias we'd just note that during the 2016 cycle upwards of 94% of all Google employee political contributions went to Democrats.

Ironically enough, even a study like this will depend on Google's search results.

Obama, Trump, and Google

  • Several Google Execs have made it clear they don’t agree with Trump’s conservative policies. We could list numerous occasions where Google has opposed Trump. But the leaked video from Breitbart showing Google Execs’ reactions to Trump’s victory in 2016 says it all! For the complete video visit Breitbart.com..
    • In this video, Brin calls Trump supporters fascists and extremists, motivated to vote by boredom.
    • Google’s Vice President of Global Affairs pushed for resistance to Trump's election and support for those opposing the election results.
    • Even Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai had to add his passive-aggressive two cents about Trump voters. He promised to develop artificial intelligence to combat the sort of misinformation that gullible Trump voters believed. Because anyone that could vote for a Republican must be ill-informed, right?

  • In contrast, Google and the Obama administration had a very cozy and amiable relationship.

  • Frustrated by their obvious political bias, Trump hasn’t pulled any punches with Google over the last two years:
    • “Trump slams Google for ‘rigged’ search results.” [NY Post, 8/28/18]
    • “Trump says Google, Twitter, and Facebook are on ‘troubled territory’ and ‘better be careful’.” [The Verge, 8/28/18]
    • “Trump says Google never promoted his State of the Union address like it did Obama's.” [RT, 8/29/18]
    • “Why The First Amendment Won't Save Google From Trump.” [Forbes, 9/4/18]

  • Donald J Trump Tweet

ALPHABET INC. AND THE GOOGLE MONOPOLY

  • Alphabet Inc.'s power lies in its vast number of subsidiaries, investment arms, and internet outlets including Google Search, Maps, Chrome, YouTube, and Android’s mobile smartphone platform. The sheer number of enterprises is overwhelmingly vast and impacts every aspect of our lives.

    Top AquisitionsChart: Companies Purchased by Google (click chart to expand it)
  • Alphabet Inc. includes 78 divisions with names spanning the entirety of the English alphabet. These divisions are housed under Google or Other Bets. The conglomerate of companies comprising Alphabet Inc. gives the umbrella an astounding market cap of over $700 billion.
  • Google Search and Google’s advertising business bring in the vast majority of money (86% of all Q2 revenue for 2018) which supports all of Alphabet’s other ventures. Google Search has almost no competition in the internet search market. Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo don’t even come close!

    Search Engine Market

  • Google disturbingly controls five of the six most important universal web platforms ( search, mobile, video, maps, and browser). Google leads in 13 of the top 14 commercial web functions of the Internet data economy. (data collection, search, tracking-analytics, digital advertising, mobile, video, location, browser, Internet Infrastructure, consumer-Internet of Things, Apps store, translation, & email)
  • A search competitor, DuckDuckGo, has cited several ways in which they have been undermined by Google in an attempt to keep Google’s de facto monopoly going:
    • Google owns duck.com. Every time a DuckDuckGo user enters the domain they are redirected to Google.
    • Google has prevented the DuckDuckGo search engine from being added to Chrome on Android.
    • Every time DuckDuckGo updates its chrome extension their users are asked if they would like to revert their search settings, or delete the DuckDuckGo extension altogether.

    Mikko Hypponen

  • Google has also used secretive methods of influencing government policies that would otherwise impede their existing monopoly. This includes:
    • Funding hundreds of studies defending regulatory challenges related to Google’s market control.
    • Pushing the Obama Administration to fire the Registrar that didn’t agree with Google’s ideas on copyright protections for artists, writers, and musicians.

    • The Killer app of silicon valley is piracy. - Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney, testifying before Congress in 2002. Have you noticed that when you Google something related to images you get all sorts of images, including artwork. None of what Google shows you are things they have created. They are reproducing, on their servers, vast amounts of art produced by others. For most companies, this would constitute a blatant copyright violation, but somehow Google gets away with it; hundreds of millions of times a day.

    • They simply add a tagline that "the images may be protected by copyright." That's much like stealing a car, and then adding a note that "the car may have been protected by laws preventing car theft". Of course the images are protected by copyright - but not when Google's involved.
    • Google sent an 8 page paper defending themselves to the FTC when they were under fire for featuring their own products in search ads. Of course they included several studies to support their claims – studies that they financed!

  • Google’s advertisement services also corner most of online ad market, especially mobile marketing. The Google/Facebook Duopoly accounted for 63.1% of all U.S. digital ad revenue in 2017 and their shares are expected to rise significantly over the next two years.
  • In July of 2018, the European Commission fined Google $5 billion for uncompetitive Android practices. As a result of the ruling, smartphone builders are no longer be required to pre-install Google Apps.

Cronies and Competitors

  • Google and Facebook are long-time rivals and competitors in the digital advertising industry. You can throw Amazon into the mix, but really it’s just Google and Facebook leading the way.
    • But all this competition doesn’t stop the two at the top from collaborating on projects that will help their bottom lines. Google and Facebook admitted in October of 2018 that their engineers were currently working together on joint tech projects. So even what little competition there appears to be is really a mirage.

  • Google and Apple have also been long-time rivals with Google’s Android platform and Apple’s iOS. Big tech cooperates as much as it competes. It’s predicted Google will pay upwards of $12 billion to Apple in 2019 to retain their default status with Safari.

DOING BUSINESS WITH THE GOVERNMENT

Government Partnerships and Conflicts

  • Google has worked with over 40 federal agencies including the NSA, NASA and several other government agencies in and outside of the United States. They have also refused to work with the U.S. government on several occasions due to the company’s anti-war political perspectives. Here’s a short list of some of Google’s main government dealings:
    • Before it had its own private airport and runway, Google paid NASA an annual rental fee of $1.3 million to park their jet at Moffett Airfield. Now with 8 corporate jets, Google has its own airport and runway. We show you where - using google maps of course
    • Google staff refused to work on a cloud computing security tool for the government because the tool might help the government wage wars. But Amazon is pursuing these contracts, worth as much as $10 billion, in a big way.
    • Google will not renew its contract with the Department of Defense for the Pentagon drone AI imaging program – Project Maven. The current contract is up in 2019. Google has decided to let the contract go after receiving a petition with thousands of signatures from employees.
    • After Google’s bombshell admission that Chinese operatives hacked into multiple US companies, including their own, the NSA drafted the “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement”. Some speculate that, based on this agreement, Google provided the government with traffic information and the government gave up intel on hackers.
    • Google was given a rare approval by the Federal Regulatory Commission to buy and sell energy, creating a huge opportunity for Google to get into the energy game.
    • Google Fiber brought their internet service to public housing residents when they partnered with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    • Let’s not forget these projects:

    • “The government and Google shared engineers, lawyers, scientists, communications specialists, executives, and even board members. Google has achieved a kind of vertical integration with the government: a true public-private partnership.”


      -David Dayen

      The Intercept, 4/22/16 “The Android Administration”.

PUBLIC POLICY, LOBBYING, AND POLITICAL DONATIONS

Corporate Lobbying

  • Google was recently thrust into the media spotlight for its unprecedented political spending, reported by its parent company for FY 2017.
    • Alphabet Inc. disclosed a whopping $18 million in 2017 for lobbying politicians. This is in stark contrast to the meager $50,000 reported back in 2002.
    • With all the anti-trust problems Google is facing, it’s no wonder the political dollars are skyrocketing. So far this year, in 2018, Alphabet Inc. is blowing away its rivals.

    • Political Lobbying Efforts
    • Not surprisingly, the top political lobby issue for Google was Labor, Antitrust & Workplace. Coming in second was Copyright, Patent & Trademark (hmmm more stuff Google requires to maintain a monopoly).
    • Google has also focused their efforts on the SELF DRIVE Act, the Email Privacy Act, and the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act.

Philanthropy

  • Google’s social justice philanthropic endeavors really seem to shine a light on the company’s overall liberal agenda.
    • Google is working with the Equal Justice Initiative to collect data on, and build a national memorial to, lynching victims and their stories of social injustice.
    • Google recently committed $1 billion in grants to nonprofits that address one of three potential areas of interest. The most controversial area of interest is “Inclusion”. But what is inclusion exactly?
    • Google spells out what they mean by inclusion on Google.org:
  • Google's founders are two of the wealthiest men in the world, but they use funds provided by Alphabet shareholders - pensions, index funds, middle class investors - to advance their personal political agendas.

  • Data Science