Microsoft is certainly working to outflank Google in Washington, DC, but it has dismissed the notion that it holds regular "screw Google" meetings.
A company spokesperson told Daily Finance that it's absurd to hang the "screw Google" tag on meetings between chief lobbyist Fred Humphries and politicians and DC lobbyists.
"While Google is a healthy competitor, Fred is focused on advancing policies that benefit our partners and consumers, and not running meetings of the type you describe," the company said. Microsoft acknowledged that Google had come up in meetings with regulators, lawmakers, and lobbyists.
The company spoke after Daily Finance reported: "Microsoft is at the center of a group of companies who see Google as a threat to them in some combination of business and policy...the effort is designed make Google look like the big high-tech bad guy here."
The meetings are reported to have taken place frequently - at least once a week.
Microsoft is no stranger to the hardball world of US politics, so while Microsoft has dismissed the characterization of Humphries' meetings, it's equally likely the spirit if not the name of the "screw-Google" sessions holds up. Microsoft will be whispering in the ears of politicians, regulators, and lobbyists to portray the search giant as dangerous while advancing its own technologies, business, and philosophy in legislation and deployment while avoiding any potential anti-trust entanglements.
Watchdog OpenSecrets.org reported that Microsoft spent so much on political donations last year, it ranked the company as a "heavy hitter" behind the traditional big-cash dogs of lobbying in the telco sector. ®