Google critics pushed out by think tank launch independent group

Google critics pushed out by think tank launch independent group
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A group of antitrust experts has launched their own independent organization after they were pushed out of the New America think tank two weeks after raising criticisms of Google.

The new group is called the Open Markets Institute, and its goal is “to protect this country's economy and democracy from corporate monopolies that undermine opportunity, competition, choice, and — as we have now personally experienced — freedom of expression.”

Open Markets is headed by Barry Lynn, the former New America scholar whose praise of the European Union’s decision to fine Google $2.7 billion for antitrust violations led to clashes with New America president Anne-Marie Slaughter.

According to The New York Times, Lynn and his team were pushed out of the think tank after Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet and one of New America’s biggest donors, expressed his disapproval of the group’s advocacy to Slaughter.

Slaughter has said that Lynn’s ouster was a personnel issue and that Google had no say in her decision.

On Wednesday, the new independent group announced that its board of directors will include the activist and academic Zephyr Teachout and Franklin Foer, a journalist who just published a book on the dangers that tech giants pose to society.

Open Markets will not accept funding from any for-profit corporations, the group said in its announcement.