Is Peter Thiel Trying To Break Up Google? This $300,000 Political Contribution Seems To Imply He Is...

Tyler Durden's picture

Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who backed President Trump (just before giving his presidency a "50% chance of ending in disaster") and infamously helped Hulk Hogan bring down Gawker.com, has allegedly set his sights on a new target: Google.  According to The Mercury News, suspicions about Thiel's next pet project were raised after he recently contributed $300,000 to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley just before he launched an antitrust lawsuit against the alleged search monopoly.

So far, high-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel isn’t saying publicly why he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign of a state attorney general who’s just launched an antitrust probe of Google.

 

But it’s not the first time Thiel has handed cash to an AG who went after Google over monopoly concerns.

 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Nov. 13 that his office was investigating Google to see if the Mountain View tech giant had violated the state’s antitrust and consumer-protection laws. The Missouri attorney general said he had issued an investigative subpoena to Google. He’s looking at the firm’s handling of users’ personal data, along with claims that it misappropriated content from rivals and pushed down competitors’ websites in search results.

Thiel

In a press release posted to his website, Missouri AG Josh Hawley confirmed that he had issued an "investigative subpoena to Internet giant Google, Inc.," in an effort to determine whether the search giant had "violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act—Missouri’s principal consumer-protection statute—and Missouri’s antitrust laws."

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced today that his Office has issued an investigative subpoena to Internet giant Google, Inc., in connection with an investigation into the company’s business practices. Specifically, the investigation will seek to determine if Google has violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act—Missouri’s principal consumer-protection statute—and Missouri’s antitrust laws.

 

The business practices in question are Google’s collection, use, and disclosure of information about Google users and their online activities; Google’s alleged misappropriation of online content from the websites of its competitors; and Google’s alleged manipulation of search results to preference websites owned by Google and to demote websites that compete with Google.

 

“There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind,” Hawley said. “My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits.”

 

In addition to online users’ location, device information, cookie data, online queries, and website history, it is estimated that Google has access to 70 percent of all card transactions in the United States.

 

“When a company has access to as much consumer information as Google does, it’s my duty to ensure they are using it appropriately,” Hawley said. “I will not let Missouri consumers and businesses be exploited by industry giants.”

Meanwhile, as Mercury News notes, Hawley isn't the only state attorney general to have received support from Thiel potentially related to their targeting of Google.  Thiel also contributed to former Texas AG Greg Abbott after his office began investigating Google back in 2010.

In Missouri, Thiel put his money behind Hawley in 2015, with $100,000 contributed during Hawley’s campaign for the state attorney general’s seat, then added two more $100,000 donations to the campaign in 2016, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Hawley was sworn in on Jan. 9.

 

Hawley is not the only state attorney general to have probed Google over antitrust concerns. Former Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott began investigating Google in 2010. In 2013, Thiel donated $100,000 to Abbott, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

 

In response to Abbott’s probe, Google in 2010 said in a blog post that it was sometimes asked about the fairness of its search engine.

 

“Why do some websites get higher rankings than others?” the post said.

 

“The important thing to remember is that we built Google to provide the most useful, relevant search results and ads for users. In other words, our focus is on users, not websites. Given that not every website can be at the top of the results, or even appear on the first page of our results, it’s unsurprising that some less relevant, lower quality websites will be unhappy with their ranking.”

So is Google about to get 'Gawker'd' or has Thiel bitten off a little more than he can chew with this latest crusade?

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Hikikomori's picture

WE need the government to save us from ourselves.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Google and Amazon operate like the 1880 railroad barons. They use their monopolies to trash any competitors and bilk the users for ridiculous fees.

pitz's picture

They're also chronic H-1B and OPT visa abusers, which is the modern-day equivalent of slavery.

NotApplicable's picture

So, where's the $300k cited? It's not in the Mecury News article.

Common_Law's picture

Simple Google competes aginst Palintar in spying on you. 

Barney Fife's picture

We need to bring back Anti-trust fever in this country. Greedy, selfish, and narrow-minded Americans have tolerated these ever growing behemouths forever because they kept being promised Lower Prices which resonated well in the hollow hearts and skulls of the consumer.

These people didn't give a shit about people losing their jobs, about all the shops in Main Street USA being put out of business, or about the long-term existential economic threat that these monopolies have on the U.S. of A. What has mattered is the ability to buy a ton of shit that they don't need, by borrowing money on their credit card that they cannot afford, to impress people that they do not know. 

This is the typical mindless shallow ass hole that is commonly identified as "an American". I outta know. I live among them. 

Worse, the morons have to google Sherman or Clayton Anti-trust Act. Celler-Kefauver? Fagettaout it! 

Even worse the whores, the pressitute lepers in Corporate Media have a comprehensive blackout on the topic in feat that they might piss off their advertising dollar sources. 

Now the greed and narrow-mindedness has come back to bite them in the ass and 95% of them STILL don't give a shit about monopolies. That's because the corporate-Prussian Worker Training Facilities called public education don't teach this stuff anymore. So they are abhorrently ignorant of the topic. Just give me my fucking iGadget at a dirt cheap price and I don't give a flying fuck who loses their job. 

So, what about the 5% of us that know what a monopoly is, know what a business trust is, particularly an informal, or off the books trust, like err, all of fucking Wall Street? How do we kick this beehive and stir this shit up in a way that the average moron on the street actually cares about it? Any ideas?

If we don't do something soon then commerce in this nation is eventually going to boil down to one airline, one bank, one telecomm, one agri-business, one media giant, Google and WalMart. 

 

qwertyFUBAR's picture

Around here even the 24 hour gas stations close at 11.  I went to the local Casino at 3am to buy a pack of cigarettes.  Of course the drive-thru "We stock everything! Best prices!" smoke shop was closed.  Walked past the hooting machines and the keep-it flowin' liquor license and all the glitzy hoo-haw.  Just me and the staff.  No cigarette vending machines, no open cartons under the counter.  Nothing.

If the indians cannot be bothered to stock tobacco is that a sign that we are in the final days of slack?

Savyindallas's picture

Saw Hawley on Tucker Carlson last night. Very impressive man. About time someone in government worked to protect us from monster corporate monopolies. Let's get facebook also. Thes companies are evil  -agents of the deep state elites who control our goverment and media. 

truthseeker69's picture

Lol @ 300K 

 

You're going to need to take down the government before you can go take down the likes of google, facebook, and Amazon. (all extensions of the US government btw)

RumpleShitzkin's picture

Still whiffs like pay 2 play.

Wish I had enough cheese laying around so I could buy me a shithead politician or two for my pet projects.

JuliaS's picture

I side with Alexander Bard's view that these organizations in question are the world government with no jurisdictional constraints. The nation state is dead. People no longer identify with their governments but with tribes of like-minded individuals online who don't even have to be within the same territory. Government fighting to break up Google is like a newspaper lobbying to get rid of television. Not going to happen. And breaking up? Well, Google is ten steps ahead already. It has become the Alphabet. They are a hydra. Likewise with the Amazon. We like pointing fingers at individuals. That's why the war against terrorism overseas always needed a face of an evil-doer. That's how our minds operate. We have a hard time identifying with a trend, so we invent an identity - a man or a woman from whom all evils supposedly originate. In reality it doesn't work like that.

These mega corporations got big with the help of governments, but now they've outgrown them, and because of jurisdictional freedom. They get to bully any government they want. Amazon knows every single tax loophole and has the resources to oppose anyone who goes after the head corporation. Google can morph into any organization or shell company. It can break up and recombine at will and they gain through loyal following of their users and consumers who are willing to listen to CEO's more than they're willing to obey their governments.

So, yeah. Good luck trying to fight an army of Goliath's. The government has surrendered its power to big business to win votes. Now big business owns the government as long as it's convenient and it is its own government when it suits the purpose. Corporations are people when they need rights. Yet they're not people when the issue of responsibility is raised. And they got to be this way with intervention, tax breaks, subsidies etc. Now all these mega-conglomerates stand on their own. They don't give a rat's ass about politicians who still wave their hands around trying to get onto the gravy train. Instead of sucking up to billionaires politicians should've been backing the people they were supposed to represent from the beginning, but they've lost all credibility, pissing on our Constitution and The Bill Of Rights. They're the good guys now? Yeah, sure! Whatever you say.

I consider myself a world citizen. I traveled around enough, to realize I don't identify with any particular country. The companies the govt is pretending to be concerned about, despite all the flak, are more "home" to me than the piece of land with imaginary lines drawn on it. Exactly why they have power. Regardless of what I think personally about every individual mega-corporation, I will never think any better of the government. At least the companies produce something as oppose to government that takes everything and gives back nothing.

Barney Fife's picture

You'd think that at this stage of power they'd remove the mask and reveal themselves for who they really are, right? Facebook.gov, Google.gov, Amazon.gov, and CNN.gov. 

Catahoula's picture

300k? Warms my heart with laughter

AlexCharting's picture

He wins Faggot of the Year for me,

Bigly's picture

He has bigger balls than most pseudo men out there, e.g., Sessions.

spastic_colon's picture

getting called out on his 300k.........which is prob about 100x less than soros contributed to the klintons........only the press is on soros side.

spanish inquisition's picture

Good observations. Will the NSA allow itself to be broken up?

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Spanish,

The National Security Elimination Act of 2017

would accomplish exactly that. Starting & not ending with the absolute, complete Elimination if the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the CIA.

As easily as they were created in 47 they can be eliminated along with the hundreds of thousands of contactors & subcontractors. All of which have some level of “National Security” clearances to certain degrees.

Spy Vs. Spy. Begs the question. Has the Criminal CIA been hacking the NSA & vice versa? The implications in that scenario are gargantuan.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Hmmm. Thiel has always been a libertarian. I always thought that strict libertarians would side with non intervention in markets, even if activity veers into anti-trust waters, as some suggest that Big Tech does.

Thiel is a lawyer, though, and seems concerned with the intersection between the Fourth Amendment and internet data collection, transparency and individual control.

Since he is on the FB board, and since they are closely intertwined with Google, it is curious that he is doing this, possibly as a gesture of public service. Do you think the tech giants, in general, might be interested in changing the system to avoid more intervention from government?

The SE/programmer/techie/tech-investor world is hard to figure out. These are some of the smartest people in the country. Who knows, really?

RumpleShitzkin's picture

Finding it real hard not to love this homo.

Not in the biblical sense, of course.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

I can't stand Google but a $300,000 bribe to the state's top law enforcement officer?

 

Really?

PhiBetaZappa's picture

Thiel may be a billionaire but he shoud've waited for the Black Friday sale to buy anyone in government. 

300k seems like a lot for a state AG. I hope he at least got free shipping.

personal109's picture

Google's search engine marketing business is the biggest con job for companies the world has ever seen. If everyone used the Brave web browser, the core of this dispicable company's business would dry up overnight. I admire Thiel for what he is trying to do.  But in the end, the Democrats will regain congress and the presidency with technical and monitary help from Google.  And all this witll be forgotten.    

pigpen's picture

Personal109, agreed about Google and Facebook too. Thiel funded brave browser. If everybody downloads and uses brave then you render digital advertising model useless - no ads delivered, watched and you can't be tracked.

Cheers,

Pigpen

DEMIZEN's picture

i didnt know thiel funded brave. i am using it  on all my os platforms. 

Chupacabra-322's picture

They’re more than a "Company Man" / front man for the

Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the CIA.

Pure Evil Amazon's front man is Bezos.

Pure Evil Goolgle's front man is Criminal Schmitt.

FaceFuck's is Zuckerberg.

All "Company Men."

#Vault7
#UMBRAGE

The Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the CIA had their "Company Man" / front man Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Obama in the Office of the CEO aka "President" for eight years.

They don't now.

Thus,
Trump. For whatever he may be.... Isn't their "Selected" choice “Company" front man to hold the Office of CEO.

Their Matrix of lies & their Dystopian Reality has been exposed.

The Criminal Deep State has accentually lost control of the Intelligence Community via its Agents / Operatives & Presstitute Media / Social Media vehicle's to Gas Light the Masses.

Atomizer's picture

My computer is offline, sitting idle beneath a D wave computer. Your AI bots will be executed. 

Keep pushing the AI story. This will be worse than a DDOS attack. It's a global effort in the millions. 

I can train your AI to turn off water cooling supply. Entire network overheats and dies. 

Stop this bullshit on AI. Your not seeing the dangers your presenting. Knock it off, or we will. 

Rethink objective goals. 5G is going to be a disaster. You'll turn into chainsaw AL of Sunbeam building inventory, writing it off on quarterly statements. Product never shipped. 

We will be watching your sales and inventory during 5G launch. 

MuffDiver69's picture

Awesome. Pure fraud is what is going on...Imagine if Google,Facefuck or any of the rest were run by republicans and this was going on. Destroy these monopolies..including Amazon...Obama let them run wild for politics..

Atomizer's picture

My below statement wasn't directed to you. Apology. Fast fingers, it was meant for asshole of thread story. Sometimes, I type to fast without checking. 

I'm only white. Hahaha  

Atomizer's picture

Understand asshole? 

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

Google,Twitter,and Facebook will make Trump's attempt at winning in 2020 much more difficult than 2016. The Don best get cracking on these folks now. 

personal109's picture

These companies, minus Twitter, pulled out all the stops in 2016 to get Hillary Clinton elected and it failed. 

pigpen's picture

Peter has funded brave browser. Time to render digital advertising model useless by downloading brave browser.

Brave blocks advertising, malware and tracking by DEFAULT on any device and operating system.

If goobook is going to censor and stifel free speech, then every citizen needs to use brave and run social media apps out of brave.

Overnight you can destroy these companies.

What is advertising worth, if they can't serve, if you can't view and they can't track you?

Government will do nothing to take down the monopolies so it is up to the citizens. Everybody needs to download brave browser immediately.

Cheers,

Pigpen

cheech_wizard's picture

I'm already ahead of the curve...

I'll have to upload a screen shot of the number of ads that have been blocked already.

 

DEMIZEN's picture

it will be blocked soon i fear.

GeoffreyT's picture

Brave is nowhere near ready for prime time. It's Chrome/Chromium (Blink under the hood) with tweaks and a weird monetisation model.

.

It requires religious levels of gullibility to get a hard-on about Brave's claims that it's about advancing freedom and privacy.

All props to Eich (particularly for JS) but frankly Brave looks like a way to try to get a 'mulligan' on Mozilla: it's easier to raise money for a 'new' thing than it is to get another big funding round to fix shitful aspects of the thing you already made.

After all, FF has become the Windows 8 of half-decent browsers (Safari, Edge and IE are worse of course: you don't need to offer decent tech to people who take a cult default). But FF's devs have failed to fix memory management, which means that FF has a habit of pegging multiple cores at 100% and using 8GB for flat HTML pages (leave FF running overnight with a few tabs open - you'll see what I mean).

Maybe 'Quantum' will fix that, but the whole 'add a tech-sounding version descriptor to a new instantiation of a woeful pile of shit' is a hallmark of charlatanry.

.

The terrible reality is that there is too much money on the line for browser developers to remain neutral, and all of the money is on one side of the table (i.e., government).

So you have to approach your internet travels as if everything you view on a given platform, is being handed - along with all relevant identifiable data - to the State (and anyone else who will pay). Ditto any transaction using a credit card or mobile phone.

.

So people need to 'bifurcate' their online acticities, as I wrote in 2009 (as just one example - I've banged on about this shit for almost 20 years now)

... in doing this you will be ‘compartmentalising’ your life into two bits: well-behaved citizen X, and underground radical Y.

All of your radical stuff lives in its heavily-encrypted TrueCrypt volume – the site files for your jSite, the blog posts for your flog, the databases for your Frost forums, and your e-mail storage boxes. Likewise, separate instances of apps are required… install PortableApps within the encrypted volume (contains every app you will ever need – from an Office suite to a Media player… and of course it’s FREE).  

None of this is ever opened from within the same operating system as your Citizen X life (Citizen X boots WinXP from the primary HDD, Radical Y boots Ubuntu from a TrueCrypt USB key… MAC spoofing just in case).

RadicalY calls for the death of the state thug who killed Jean Charles de Menezes, and contributes money to a pool specifically designed to make it happen. Meanwhile Citizen X plods along, occasionally getting worked up (within boundaries) over some issue or other.

People like Radical Y believe in Liberty, and reject compulsion by the state (whether through the mob rule of ‘democracy’ or more overt thuggery). They declare the right to use defensive force of whatever degree, in order to make the State and its armed goons cease their activities. Their ultimate aim is the complete downfall of the system of violent thuggery that killed 250 million innocent people and conscripts last century. 

If I was going to bet on which side will win (State thuggery versus Radical Y and his pseudonymous e-chums), I would side with the radicals, since even mainstream people are beginning to realise that the ‘powers that be’ did not change when the Magic Mulatto ascended to the throne.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

Go after Facebook next please, worse than Google because everyone thinks they are warm and fuzzy.

DEMIZEN's picture

if paypal goes to trashes => peter thiel is not the part of the tribe and safe to vote for.

TeraByte's picture

Google´s search results are strongly manipulated. Their algorithms clearly favour their paying advertising customers and while telling with a straight face about importance of substance to get a decent ranking, bloggers with zero substance often are topping search. The situation was much more better ten years ago before new algorithms time by time started being introduced. No doubt Google abuses its monopole like situation for its gain. Unfiltered and more independent results you can find on smaller search engines only such as https://duckduckgo.com/html/ and http://www.ixquick.com/
Thumbs up for anybody, who dares to challenge Google.

hoytmonger's picture

Peter Thiel is my favorite faggot. He was way ahead of the curve with "The Diversity Myth" back in 1998. The same diversity myth that is destroying Sweden, Germany and most of Western Europe... and will take down Google as well.

kwaremont's picture

Shall it be broken into pieces like some of the previous monopolists? Bloody Microsoft nearly escaped, hope this DoEvil empire famously characterized by an insider as "ad business and a bunch of pet projects" will be... oops... hard to split, it's exactly one trick poney like Microsoft, but way worse, selling your souls to the Ad Devil.

Peope were angry at Microsoft for what they did with the Operating Syste,, but then Linux came... how innocent they were, just spying on you a bit. GOOLAG wants all your data, contacts, communication, pictures, videos... and selling it directly to NSA.

Imagine Microsoft doing this in their heydays. People would burn Billy at stake. Now? New normal.

The world goes really fast to a devil's arse. Via Google Maps.

kwaremont's picture

Shall it be broken into pieces like some of the previous monopolists? Bloody Microsoft nearly escaped, hope this DoEvil empire famously characterized by an insider as "ad business and a bunch of pet projects" will be... oops... hard to split, it's exactly one trick poney like Microsoft, but way worse, selling your souls to the Ad Devil.

Peope were angry at Microsoft for what they did with the Operating Syste,, but then Linux came... how innocent they were, just spying on you a bit. GOOLAG wants all your data, contacts, communication, pictures, videos... and selling it directly to NSA.

Imagine Microsoft doing this in their heydays. People would burn Billy at stake. Now? New normal.

The world goes really fast to a devil's arse. Via Google Maps.