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[News] [Rival] Microsoft's Legalised Bribery Poisons the System Against Google

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Microsoft's lobbying tab dwarfs Google's tally

,----[ Quote ]
| The most recent federal disclosure forms offer a stark reminder of Microsoft 
| Corp.'s mighty Washington presence: The software giant's tab of almost $2 
| million for the third quarter alone nearly equaled the amount its rival 
| Google Inc. spent in the first nine months of the year.   


Mr. Microsoft goes to Congress: Technology becomes political

,----[ Quote ]
| Over the past few years, the technology industry has discovered that those 
| pesky bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. actually wield a lot of power. 
| Microsoft, in particular, learned years ago that a little money goes a long 
| way to stave off antitrust lawyers, as suggested by The New York Times.   
| [...]
| There are good reasons for this: Microsoft has spent quite a bit of time 
| (and, apparently, money) this year trying to convince Congress to put the 
| kibosh on the Google-Yahoo advertising deal, as reported in The New York 
| Times, and ultimately succeeding. Last week Google abandoned the deal in the 
| face of an antitrust fight, one no doubt founded in part on Microsoft's 
| lobbying cash. Microsoft learned the hard way that money can make Washington, 
| D.C. work for it...with just a few million dollars' worth of influence.      
| Gone are the days of two entrepreneurs in a garage, changing the world. As 
| technology becomes a critical part of the global economy, lobbying and 
| lawyers have become de rigueur. This year Microsoft is the big spender on 
| Capitol Hill, but as Google comes under fire for privacy and other concerns, 
| it will no doubt be next.    


Corporate lobbying should be made illegal. The current collapse ought to serve
as a lesson: 'legalised' corruption and 'legitimized' bribery does not pay


Microsoft spent more than $2.3M to lobby in 2Q


Microsoft Leads Tech Lobbying Pack

,----[ Quote ]
| "As tech becomes more mainstream, you'll see even more spending on lobbying,"
| Microsoft spokesperson Ginny Terzano said.


Microsoft Taps Legal Czar [Lobbyist] Amid EU, OOXML Woes

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft announced Monday it has hired a former European diplomat to lead
| its dealings with the European Union (EU).


Google and Yahoo Small Fries In Lobbying

,----[ Quote ]
| When it comes to lobbying Congress, Google and Yahoo are relative
| lightweights compared to other companies. Both companies combined spent about
| $1.3 million last quarter--$730,000 from Google and $630,000 from Yahoo.
| Microsoft nearly doubled them, and Verizon, as a single company, has spent
| three times as much as all three.
| [...]
| Last year a total of $2.82 billion was spent lobbying Congress, according to
| OpenSecrets.org, and 2008 is well on its way to surpassing the $3 billion
| mark.



Mr. Microsoft goes to Washington

,----[ Quote ]
| As I suspected, Microsoft spends a whole lot more than that on lobbying. For
| the first half of last year, Microsoft spent $4.78 million on lobbying
| activities, according to the report it filed with Congress. It's full-year
| 2007 report is not yet available.  


Microsoft trying to derail Google/DoubleClick deal by lobbying congress

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has hired lobbying firm Patton Boggs LLC to do work on "competitive
| issues surrounding Google/DoubleClick [sic] merger."


Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept.

,----[ Quote ]
| Nearly a decade after the government began its landmark effort to break
| up Microsoft, the Bush administration has sharply changed course by
| repeatedly defending the company both in the United States and abroad
| against accusations of anticompetitive conduct, including the recent
| rejection of a complaint by Google.
| [...]
| In the most striking recent example of the policy shift, the top
| antitrust official at the Justice Department last month urged state
| prosecutors to reject a confidential antitrust complaint filed by
| Google that is tied to a consent decree that monitors Microsoft's
| behavior. Google has accused Microsoft of designing its latest
| operating system, Vista, to discourage the use of Google's desktop
| search program, lawyers involved in the case said.


Politics and tech companies: follow the money


Changing the Report, After the Vote


Microsoft's 'Men in Black' kill Florida open standards legislation

,----[  Quote
| It was just a bit of text advocating open data formats that was slipped into
| a Florida State Senate bill at the last minute with no fanfare, but within
| 24 hours three Microsoft-paid lobbyists, all wearing black suits, were
| pressuring members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations
| (COGO) to remove the words they didn't like from Senate bill 1974.


Politicians in Microsoft's Pocket

,----[ Quote ]
| Continuing on the theme of which politicians are receiving money from
| who. Here is a list of candidates who took money from MSFT.


Kroes slams US criticism of EU Microsoft ruling

,----[ Quote ]
| Kroes said that it was "unacceptable" that a representative of the US
| judiciary should criticise a court of law outside his jurisdiction.
| “It is absolutely not done,” she told journalists on Wednesday.
| “The European commission does not pass judgement on US rulings and we should
| expect the same from the US.”


Microsoft, The European Union, and the United States: A Statement by the AAI

,----[ Quote ]
| The AAI comments on the European Court of First Instance's upholding of the
| EC's Microsoft decision, taking the USDOJ to task for poor diplomacy and
| mistaken policy in its criticism of the EC.  


Microsoft sets spinners on court verdict

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft may have lost in court, but it quickly tried to win the war of
| media reaction via organisations like CompTIA, the Computing Technology
| Industry Association and ACT (the Association for Competitive Technology)
| which both intervened in court on its side.  


Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff

,----[ Quote ]
| E-mails released by the committee show that Abramoff, often
| with the knowledge of the groups' leaders, exploited the tax-exempt
| status and leveraged the stature of the organizations to build
| support among conservatives for legislation or government action
| sought by clients including Microsoft Corp., mutual fund company
| DH2 Inc., Primedia Inc.'s Channel One Network, and Brown-Forman,
| maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey.


Microsoft Paid Lobbyist $160,000

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Paid Paid Bingham McCutchen $160,000 to Lobby Federal Gov't in
| First Half of 2007


Legal blow to secret government lobbying

,----[ Quote ]
| The Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has lost
| an appeal to keep secret its meetings with business lobbying group the
| Confederation of British Industry.
| The case has dragged on for three years and originally concerned secret
| meetings between the CBI and BERR, which was formerly known as the Department
| of Trade and Industry.
| [...]
| The victory is a big filip for the wider movement, led by the Alliance for
| Lobbying Transparency, to force the UK government to introduce more
| transparency into its dealings with lobbying groups. ALT is calling for
| compulsory registration of lobby groups and a record of their meetings with
| politicians and civil servants.

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