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Dennis Van Tine / Star Max via AP

When Barry Lynn, who was employed at the New America Foundation, posted a statement on the think tank's web site praising the EU's fines against Google, Google's parent company's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, expressed discontent with the statement. A couple of days later, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Google-funded think tank's president, told Lynn he had to part ways with the organization, which was first reported by the New York Times.

Why it matters: Google has built a powerful influence machine in Washington in part by funding a number of advocacy and research organizations and think tanks that work in the technology policy arena, where Google is fighting a number of battles. Google has given over $21 million to the New America Foundation. Lynn's Open Markets team has been critical of tech giants' growing dominance.

What happened: Sarah Miller, who is part of Lynn's team that departed the New America Foundation, told Axios that "Anne-Marie expressed to Barry that Eric Schmidt had communicated to her that he was prepared to pull his funding from the entire institution." Miller added that Schmidt had allegedly left an ultimatum: either Barry and his team go, or the funding goes. Lynn told Axios that Slaughter "made it very clear that Google and Eric Schmidt were not happy and that there were big problems."

The other side: In a statement, Slaughter disputed the NYT's account and said New America and Lynn parted ways due to violations of "standards of openness and institutional collegiality." A Google spokesperson denies Schmidt was involved in the think tank's decision to part ways with Lynn and told Axios that "Schmidt never threatened to cut off funding." Google's 2017 funding levels for New America remain unchanged, the spokesperson said.

What's next: Lynn's new group, which he said has yet to be named, has claimed Google is "trying to censor journalists and researchers who fight dangerous monopolies," per the NYT. Barry said his new organization's goal is "that there be a United States of America in which we do not see these private concentrations of power in which liberties of the individual citizens" are not "safe and secure."

Go deeper

Top economic regulators stressed by vacancies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The boom times are all around us (from corporate deal sprees to the breakneck rise of cryptocurrency) — and the agencies in charge are stretched thin trying to police it.

Why it matters: Overwhelmed staff and a slew of vacant posts could set back President Biden's big regulatory agenda.

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley announces run for re-election

Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced on Friday that he's running for re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: The GOP is looking to regain control of both chambers of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. Several Republicans had urged the 88-year-old senator to run to avoid another retirement after five incumbent senators said they wouldn't seek re-election.

China deems all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

A person walking past China's central bank in Beijing in August 2007. Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

China's central bank declared on Friday that all cryptocurrencies are illegal, banning crypto-related transactions and cryptocurrency mining, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: China's government is now following through with its goal of cracking down on unofficial virtual currencies, which it has said are a financial, social and national security risk and a contributor to global warming.