Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly could lead a new technology industry task force in the White House, but progressive groups warn President-Elect Joe Biden against picking him or anyone from Google.
A letter, published earlier this week, lays out the objections and explains how appointing Schmidt would risk “fracturing a Democratic coalition” and “risks alienating an overwhelming majority of the electorate, including within the Democratic base, who want to see the economic power of major corporations reined in.”
Open Markets Institute, Communications Workers of America, and Action Center on Race & the Economy are among the 15 progressive groups that signed the letter.
The letter references the antitrust lawsuit the Department of Justice filed against Google in October. They argue that it is the most “important antitrust case in a generation.” Appointing Schmidt or any other Google employee “sends the wrong message — and could have a chilling effect on U.S. antimonopoly policy moving forward—to have an individual who served at both the helm of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. at such a high position in government.”
Interestingly, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris seems to have other plans. She has long been supportive of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff, and according to one report, her brother-in-law and former chief of staff, Tony West, works as Uber's chief legal officer and may be considered for a possible role in the administration.
Biden also is expected to appoint new heads of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, based on approval from the U.S. Senate, who will decide how to pursue investigations against Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple.
Changes for technology and advertising companies are coming. Biden said he will raise corporate taxes by seven percentage points to 28% for U.S. businesses, which would threaten their bottom line, as the Financial Times has reported.
For technology companies, Biden promised to raise the tax on the profits that companies make from their intangible assets held overseas, known as the GILTI tax.