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Friday, 02 March 2012 19:18

Google fumes at Microsoft headhunt

Written by Nick Farrell



Exec knew all its cunning plans


Search engine Google must be furious after software king of the world Microsoft headhunted one of its former executives. Randall Long has been hired by Vole to be one of its lobbyists.  While he was never on Google's payroll he was a former Federal Trade Commission lawyer who had access to "thousands" of confidential Google documents.

According the AP Long led the FTC's investigation into Google's acquisition of AdMob. Long, who was a deputy assistant director of an FTC section that assessed mergers for antitrust violations, read thousands of confidential documents and probably knows more about Google than  some of its senior managers.  This includes sales figures and emails to internal strategy memos.

The FTC has pointed out that Long is not allowed to lobby it on any matter he worked on "personally and substantially" but that is not really the point.  He can tell Microsoft exactly where the bodies are buried and help it plan campaigns to hit other regulators and politicians.

The FTC points out that he would have to obtain clearance from the FTC to discuss any Google matter that was pending when he still worked for the agency. But Long had not worked on the current antitrust probe of Google's business practices.

Nick Farrell

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