February 11, 2007

Google's Arrogance in North Carolina: Learning from AT&T?

Ed Cone:
But it turns out that there was a lot more to the story. Google leaned hard on North Carolina lawmakers and officials, not just to get the fattest deal possible but to choke off the flow of information along the way.

According to documents obtained by The News & Observer of Raleigh, the company went beyond reasonable expectations of confidentiality to demand absolute secrecy while negotiations were under way, even asking participants to sign nondisclosure agreements; some legislators and local officials did so, but Department of Commerce officials did not. Google executive Rhett Weiss badgered Commerce Secretary Jim Fain about the state's adherence to process, complaining, for example, when lawmakers wanted an estimate of the cost to North Carolina in lost tax revenue, and threatening to kill the whole thing if Google didn't get its way.

Businesses need some measure of confidentiality when putting together this kind of transaction. Fair enough. But this is the people's business, and Google's high-handedness is an affront to the people of this state.

And then there's that whole "Don't be evil" thing. Google spokesman Barry Schnitt told me that the company's negotiations with the state were "very standard." If that's the case, and this is standard operating procedure for the company, then something has gone wrong in Silicon Valley.
Barry Orton keeps up with AT&T's Wisconsin Lobbying.

Yet another reason to use the excellent Clusty search engine. Posted by James Zellmer at February 11, 2007 10:56 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
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