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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Google on Thursday warned some customers that antitrust bills targeting the tech giant could jeopardize the services small businesses rely on.

Why it matters: By turning to its customers, Google could drum up opposition from small businesses that may give lawmakers pause in advancing legislation.

Driving the news: Google is emailing small and medium sized businesses that use its advertising, analytics and free business profile tools, to tell them antitrust bills in the House and Senate could "cost your business time and money." Google said the dangers could include:

  • Making it harder for customers to find businesses because listings, including address and business hours, may no longer appear in Google Search results or on Google Maps.
  • Hurting the effectiveness of digital marketing if Google Ads products were broken up and disconnected from Google Analytics.

What they're saying: "[W]e're concerned that Congress' controversial package of bills could have unintended consequences, especially for small businesses who have relied on digital tools to adapt, recover and reach new customers throughout the pandemic," a Google spokesperson told Axios.

  • Google declined to say how many businesses it contacted. Customers using some Google products will also see a prompt encouraging them to opt in to receive more information about the bills.

Between the lines: Google is joining Amazon in warning businesses that rely on their platforms about the risks the antitrust legislation poses.

  • Amazon told sellers the bills could jeopardize their ability to host their businesses on it platform.

The other side: A GOP aide who worked on the legislation told Axios there's nothing in the bill that would force Amazon to boot third-party sellers off its platform, and that would be a policy choice by Amazon.

  • More broadly, the aide said, the legislation would stop companies from favoring their own products and services or discriminating against rivals in a way that hurts competition.

The big picture: Antitrust bills in the House and Senate meant to regulate the largest technology companies are gaining momentum.

  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act this month, the companion to House legislation that bans the platforms from unfairly favoring their own services.
  • Google panned the bill, with vice president of government affairs and public policy Mark Isakowitz saying, "it would break a wide range of helpful services from leading American companies, while making those services less safe, less private and less secure."

What's next: Google launched a website about the legislation and urged its small business customers to sign up to receive more information about the bills.

Go deeper

Trump's PAC has spent $1.4 million in Facebook, Google ads for potential campaign

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former President Trump's political action committee, Save America, has spent more than $1.4 million on Facebook and Google ads since March, FWIW reports.

Driving the news: While Trump was banned from posting on various social media platforms, he has managed to work around this as he prepares for the 2024 presidential elections, per the Washington Post.

35 mins ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.