Senators are probing whether Google tried to influence a top critic’s testimony at a high-profile hearing last week about the future of app stores.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat – Minnesota) and Mike Lee (Repubilcan – Utah) are demanding more details about an alleged phone call between a Google employee and a Match Group employee on the eve of a key hearing before the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee. At the hearing, Match and other Google critics accused the tech giant of wielding monopoly power and limiting competition.
During that hearing, Match chief legal officer Jared Sine alleged that Google called Match after its written testimony for Congress became public. Google asked why Match’s comments about Google’s app store rules didn’t match up with statements Match made about Google in previous earnings calls.
The senators wrote in a letter on Tuesday, April 27, to Wilson White, a top Google executive who testified last week, they were “deeply troubled” by Match’s claims Google tried to influence its testimony, and they feel they have an obligation to get to the bottom of what happened on the phone call.
“Any efforts to retaliate against those who speak up about public policy issues or possible legal violations are unacceptable, especially by dominant companies that have the power to destroy the business of a whistle-blower,” the senators wrote in their letter.
“Witness intimidation in any form will not be tolerated,” they added.
The senators want Google to provide details about any phone calls between its employees and Match employees ahead of last week’s hearing, including what was said on the call. They also asked if Google and Match employees have had any communications since the hearing.