Microsoft has gone after Google with playful yet pointed jabs. Microsoft has gone after Google with heavy accusations of legal import. Concerning the latter method, Microsoft appears to be ready to recalibrate their approach by hiring a Washington lobbyist to keep the heat on Google’s legal woes.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Randall Long, a former Federal Trade Commission attorney who previously investigated Google’s acquisition of AdMob and DoubleClick, has been recruited by Microsoft to assume a position at the company’s lobbyist office in Washington.When the FTC began to look into Google’s acquisition of the two advertising companies, it was Long who led the antitrust investigation. Potentially very valuable to Microsoft’s attacks on Google is the fact that Long has had access to untold amount of confidential documents belonging to Google, ranging from “sales figures and emails to internal strategy memos.”
Speculation immediately began that Long would continue to pursue government investigations of Google’s business tactics, only now he’ll be doing it from within the private sector as opposed to before when he was acting as the government’s agent. However, Long is not legally permitted to discuss any of Google’s confidential information, which could cause Microsoft’s plan of using Long as a lobbyist against Google to backfire.
As you can imagine, Google wasn’t exactly thrilled about Microsoft hiring Long. In an emailed statement to CNET, Google said, “We hope that Mr. Long will abide by the FTC’s ethics rules and not lobby the FTC on Google matters or use confidential information in his new position.”