Tech
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Watchdog group probes ‘suspicious’ Microsoft hire of friendly FTC attorney

A government watchdog group is looking into the relationship between a former Federal Trade Commission attorney and his new employer, Microsoft.

Americans for Limited Government, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request Monday to probe the pending appointment of longtime FTC attorney Randall Long as Microsoft’s director of regulatory affairs.

“Microsoft’s hiring of Long is suspicious, given Long’s long history of advocating within the FTC in favor of Microsoft’s interests,” said Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, in a statement.

“It is important to the integrity of the regulatory process that it be clearly established that there is not even a hint of a quid pro quo relationship,” said Wilson.

“In recent years, Microsoft has emerged as Google’s chief legal antagonist, working publicly and privately to get antitrust cops in Washington and Brussels interested in Google’s activities,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

ALG requested “records of communications and the communications themselves between Randall Long and any official or personnel of the Microsoft Corporation,” and “records of meetings between Mr. Long and any official or personnel of the Microsoft Corporation” dating back to January 1, 2009.

In recent years other FTC officials have been snatched up by top tech companies, including Intel Corp., Apple and Google. Long’s hire by Microsoft was announced March 1 and will take effect at the end of the month.

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