End Google’s Gmail Extortion Scheme

February 26, 2020 Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2020

Press Contact: Carli Kientzle at carli@npstrategygroup.com




Google’s throttling of political emails sent to Gmail accounts is an abuse of monopoly power and a threat to democracy.

Washington, DC — Today, an explosive investigation by The Markup revealed that Google is using their monopoly power over people’s inboxes to throttle emails from non-profit groups, campaigns, and even sitting members of Congress in order to force them to buy more ads.

The rationale behind their monopolistic behavior isn’t theoretical, it was clearly laid out by Google themselves:

“During a phone conversation the following month, a Gmail official offered them a suggestion to get more eyeballs on their emails: ‘You’re not precluded from buying an ad in the promotions tab, or offering a deal,’ said Lee Carosi Dunn, who at the time led election sales, political outreach and policy for Google, according to notes taken by one person on the call. ‘Your type of users may be looking for deals too, some deal that involves fund-raising or engagement.’”

“What Google is doing is monopoly 101 and yet another example of why they need to be broken up and regulated,” said Economic Liberties’ Executive Director Sarah Miller. “Google isn’t just controlling what coupons we get, they’re undermining a core tenet of our democracy by deciding what emails people see from groups they belong to and even their own members of Congress.”

Economic Liberties is calling on the DOJ, FTC, and state attorneys general to add this monopolistic behavior by Google to the scope of their existing antitrust investigations. And given the danger to our democracy, and Google’s direct impact on members of Congress, we also urge them to hold hearings on this issue and address it in any future legislation.


Read the New York Times profile on Sarah Miller and Economic Liberties here

Learn more about Economic Liberties here



Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.