Lessons from New American Foundation about Criticism

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An American firm got to know what can happen when you cut the hand that feeds you. Late last month, Google was fined $2.7 billion by European antitrust regulators for playing unfairly in the European Union market. A foundation known as the New America Foundation took to its website to praise the move by the European regulators. However, what the editor of this criticism forgot is that the company had received over $21 million in donations from Google. The money went to some of the projects carried out by the firm. The New American Foundation is a think tank that supports the ideas of upcoming investors. The company is headed by Eric Schmidt and has been in operation since the year 1999. Few hours after the company published the document, Mr. Schmidt expressed his displeasure with the move. The document had been prepared under the watch of Anne-Marie Slaughter who is the president of the company. After the complaint by Mr. Schmidt, the document disappeared for some time. After some few hours, the document was posted again. However, the displeasure of Mr. Schmidt didn’t go unnoticed. Some of its employees who include scholars, writers and researchers were left speculating whether the document would annoy Google. However, some people expressed their concerns saying that the company should learn to be independent, operating without the fear of its donors. Following days of speculations, the fears became a reality when the writer who wrote the article was summoned by the president Ms. Slaughter. The writer is known as Barry Lynn, and he is responsible for the Open Markets. Open Markets is an initiative within New America that is responsible for criticizing market dominance by some tech giants in the United States such as Google. In an email written to Mr. Barry, the president of New America told him that the two entities had to part ways following the criticism. This means that the company which consists of 10 full-time employees was let go. Mr. Barry accused the president of caving in to pressure from Google and Mr. Schmidt. He accused Google of throwing money all over Brussels and Washington in an effort to pull strings. When asked about the issue, Google denied that it was responsible for the breakup. Google spokeswoman Riva Sciuto said that the company has means of disagreeing respectfully when they cannot agree with certain policies. She also said that the company is still committed to supporting good ideas.

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