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03.04.12

Revolving Doors: How Microsoft Essentially Bribes Prominent Google Critics

Posted in Antitrust, FUD, Google, Microsoft at 9:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Microsoft still pays Google-hostile people, sometimes paying them entire wages

THE DIRTY politics of revolving doors and gentle bribes are well understood and there is a lot of literature on the subject. In a nutshell, a company can promise a person a reward later (e.g. a job) provided particular acts in public office. Considering the fact that Microsoft pays Google bashers like Florian Müller, Ben Edelman, probably the Edelman-connected Consumer Watchdog and many more, it is not too shocking that a lot of Google backlash is organic, and it is coordinated from above by someone or someones. We are careful not to play along with AstroTurf, such as the Koch et al.-led Tea Party movement.

Microsoft also used to attack ODF through all sorts of people whom it later paid and people in the government were paid (hired) by Microsoft to later return favours (e.g. Barnett [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). According to an article from CNET, “Microsoft hires FTC attorney and public critic of Google”. Judging by this, Microsoft is doing it again:

Randall Long, who led investigations into Google’s acquisitions of DoubleClick and AdMob, will become a lobbyist aiming to keep federal regulators on the search giant’s case.

As Mr. Masnick puts it: “Microsoft appears to be stepping up its “saddle Google with antitrust charges” battle by hiring Randall Long from the FTC. Long was the key “anti-Google” lawyer within the FTC, who led multiple antitrust investigations into Google, and recommended that the FTC block Google’s acquisition of AdMob (something he was outvoted on). Microsoft doesn’t even seem to want to hide the fact that his role will be to lobby politicians in DC to hit Google with antitrust charges.”

Considering the position Microsoft has been in, the revolving doors syndrome makes a lot of business sense. Microsoft is trying to misuse government intervention to interfere with competition. Apple does the same thing with patent systems around the world, but it’s not working out so far:

A spokesman for the Mannheim state court said judges had dismissed both cases involving ownership of the “slide-to-unlock” feature used on their respective smartphones.

We wrote about this not too long ago. Microsoft’s patents too — those that it quietly uses against Android — are currently being challenged. We’ll write about this tomorrow when we focus on patents.

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3 Comments

  1. walterbyrd said,

    March 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Gravatar

    From PJ, at Groklaw.

    “500 sites, plus Facebook, a partner of Microsoft, and Google. Yet Microsoft wrote only about Google. This is what FUD looks like — it’s partly true or almost so or selectively so as far as it goes or it’s not even relevant to real life, blown out of proportion, etc.”

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks, there is a followup to this post now.

  2. walterbyrd said,

    March 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Sadly (IMO) Slashdot.org seems to contributing to MS’s smear campaign. Slashdot is constantly posting non-stories like this:

    Schmidt: Google Once Considered Issuing Currency
    http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/02/29/0123223/schmidt-google-once-considered-issuing-currency

    The story was spun to make it seem like Google wanted to take over the world’s currencies. Actually it was Google *considering* having it’s own script, credit system. In other words, the same thing as WoW, 2nd life, Facebook, and – I think – even MS.

    The discussions are dominated by anonymous posters who aggressively bash anybody who try to defend Google. Such posts were not always anonymous. It was discovered that such posts used to come from one poster who had, at least, 20 different logins. Once that was exposed, all the bashing posts became anonymous.

    Slashdot typically runs about two such non-stories every week. It’s shameful, IMO.

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