Tetzchner said in an interview with Radio Sputnik that the media giant blocked the access of his new browser Vivaldi to Google AdWords advertising service in May. He also noted that the company received no warning or explanation for Google's decision.
"We contacted Google to get some information about what was happening and after a while we stopped getting demands on what things we have to change for them to reopen [our account]. It wasn't really clear to us why they closed our account, and the conclusion we could make is: ‘ok, this is a consequence of what had happened before when we had a number of interviews,'" Tetzchner said.
Google's move came a few days following Mr. Von Tetzchner's interview where he criticized the company for tracking users.
"We no longer had access to Google Ad Words, so we were not be able to advertise not only on Google, but not on any sites that used their technology," he said. "We then were back and forth with them trying to understand what we could have done wrong for them to close [our account]. And obviously you would expect a very clear answer like ‘you did this and that's why we closed it.' But there was no message, no indications…. This is not how companies in this position should behave," Tetzchner said.
The media enterprise agreed to unblock Vivaldi's Ad Words account only three months later, putting forward unreasonable demands to have it reinstated.
"In exchange for being reinstated in Google's ad network, their in-house specialists dictated how we should arrange content on our own website and how we should communicate information to our users," von Tetzchner wrote in his blog.
"I am saddened by this makeover of a geeky, positive company into the bully they are in 2017," he concluded.
Google's Crackdown Against Its Critics
Tetzchner's case is not the only example of Google cracking down against its critics.
On Wednesday, a scholar named Barry Lynn and his entire research team that launched Open Markets were fired from the Google-funded research fund New America Foundation.
The initiative opposed the domination on the market of large telecoms and tech giants, including Google.
Google officials had repeatedly complained about Open Markets, and thus the initiators of the project "have been caught in the crossfire," as the think tank's head, Anne-Marie Slaughter, described it, cited by Wired.