News release: [July 11, 2017] Campaign for Accountability released a new report, Google Academics Inc., revealing Google’s extensive financial support for academics and policy experts. CfA identified 329 research papers published between 2005 and 2017 on public policy matters of interest to Google that were in some way funded by the company. Read the report here.
CfA Executive Director, Daniel Stevens, said, “Google uses its immense wealth and power to attempt to influence policy makers at every level. At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the allegedly independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.” Google Academics Inc. examines the contours of Google’s academic influence machine. For instance, the report reveals that the number of Google-funded studies spiked during periods when its business model was under threat from regulators and when opportunities arose to push for new regulations on its competitors. Google-funded studies are published by a wide variety of sources, and often blur the line between academic research and paid advocacy. Reports funded by the company have been authored by academics and economists hailing from some of the nation’s leading law schools and universities, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT, as well as some of the most prestigious universities in Europe, including Oxford, Edinburgh, and the Berlin School of Economics. Google’s paid-policy research has broad reach and may have influenced policymakers unaware of the company’s role. Google lobbyists and lawyers pushed Google-funded research to journalists, the White House, Congress, and agency regulators investigating its conduct, such as the Federal Trade Commission, often without disclosing that the funding.”