Aug 28, 2009

Who Is On Team 'Screw Google?' [Politics]


Microsoft convenes regular "Screw Google" meetings on Capitol Hill, Daily Finance reports, as part of an effort to tear down rival Google's image. Who would want to help Microsoft do this? The better question is who wouldn't?

Carol Bartz and the rest of team Yahoo certain have incentive to get on board; they are pursuing a potentially lucrative search agreement with the Redmond software company, and that requires a regulatory green light clearing the deal of antitrust violations. Bartz has already flip-flopped on whether Google was a threat to her company the day her deal with Microsoft as announced (see video above). That the Justice Department pledged to fight a similar deal between Yahoo and Google only strengthens this line of argument.

Then there is DC's corps of PR and lobbying firms, always eager for a well-monied client. Daily Finance mentions two, Law Media Group and Glover Park Group, but what about Burson-Marsteller? We heard earlier this year that Mark Penn's PR operation had targeted Google on behalf of sometime client Microsoft; the company stated only that "We are not lobbying for Microsoft against Google," a non-denial that leaves the oily firm plenty of wiggle room. With industry veterans like Google CEO Eric Schmidt's ex-girlfriend Marcy Simon on staff, the company can exert pressure on the company in ways far more subtle than formal political lobbying.









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