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Revolving Doors: How Microsoft Essentially Bribes Prominent Google Critics



"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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