Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
antitrust, ftc

Companies:
apple, ftc, google, wilson sonsini



Apparently Google's Lawyers Were Prepped For Google/Apple Antitrust Inquiry

from the just-look-at-our-website dept

With the (not particularly surprising) news coming out that the FTC was looking at the relationship between Apple and Google (specifically the ties between the Board of Directors of both companies), John Paczkowski noticed that Google's outside law firm (full disclosure: it's our outside law firm as well, though it's a big, big law firm), Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati had not only already prepared a presentation on the issue but had posted it to its website. Soon after noticing it, WSGR pulled down the presentation. So Paczkowski pointed to the Google cache of it... only to see that disappear quickly as well. Amusingly, Danny Sullivan noted that it's still available in Microsoft's cache. Either way, it seems like Google should be quite prepared for the issue, though Eric Schmidt's initial responses to questions about it don't seem very reassuring. You would think that he would have thought through a slightly more nuanced answer than saying that he hadn't even considered leaving Apple's board. Either way, it seems pretty clear that Google is going to spend an awful lot of time in the antitrust spotlight -- justified or not -- over the next few years, and the company better get used to it.

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  • identicon
    chucklebutte, 7 May 2009 @ 9:16pm

    leave google alone!

    they do too much good!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    disgruntled, 7 May 2009 @ 9:32pm

    boyscout

    I'm no apologist for either company, but doesn't being prepared for a possible sh!tstorm just equal good lawyering?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 7 May 2009 @ 10:31pm

      Re: boyscout

      I'm no apologist for either company, but doesn't being prepared for a possible sh!tstorm just equal good lawyering?

      Prepared is good. But having that info publicly available... is a bit weird.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Mike FM, 8 May 2009 @ 2:32am

        Re: Re: boyscout

        But preparing for something usually means you see it as an issue...and if you see it as an issue, but are still doing it, this looks very bad indeed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TheStupidOne, 8 May 2009 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re: boyscout

          Being aware of the perception of wrongdoing vs being aware of actual wrongdoing are really very different situations.

          For example: somebody robs a 7-11 near your home. robber's description is similar to you. getaway car is same make and model as your own. (not an unreasonable situation) You look guilty even if you aren't. Best thing for you to do would be to get ready for the police to give you a visit. Maybe even head over to the police station to clear your name before they even start investigating.

          I'm not commenting on the actual case, just that getting ready to answer accusations that haven't yet been made isn't an admission of guilt.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chunky Vomit, 7 May 2009 @ 10:51pm

      Re: boyscout

      Good lawyering? Who dare say such things? Off with his head!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jon L (profile), 7 May 2009 @ 10:10pm

    WSGR Rocks

    Have worked with those guys (WSGR) on a couple of startups, and they are truly awesome. Scary smart, and always very, very well prepared.

    One of the coolest things they've done lately is to put up a "term sheet generator" based on some of their internal processes for startups. (be warned though, the generator is an extensive questionnaire that likely simply proves why a lawyer is a good idea instead of a DIY template...)

    http://www.wsgr.com/WSGR/Display.aspx?SectionName=practice/termsheet.htm

    (note: I don't work for WSGR or have any current business with them - not for lack of tryin' though:)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Noc, 7 May 2009 @ 11:00pm

    Correct

    what he said haha

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Michael Lockyear (profile), 8 May 2009 @ 1:55am

    Ready for anything

    No surprise...trying to identify potential problems before they happen is standard practice in successful companies (and companies that want to STAY successful)...this applies to the law firm AND Google. As far as potential problems go, this one seems as if it would be fairly obvious to a highly paid legal expert!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2009 @ 2:19am

    I think George W Bush said it best:
    Fool me once, Shame on.. Shame on.. You. You Fool Me You can't get fooled again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgPY1adc0A

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NSMike, 8 May 2009 @ 5:56am

    Why Tech?

    Can someone explain to me why tech companies are the only ones being put under the microscope as far as antitrust goes? It seems to me there are plenty of others out there that should be scrutinized a bit more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bri (profile), 8 May 2009 @ 6:17am

    Can someone explain to me why tech companies are the only ones being put under the microscope as far as antitrust goes? It seems to me there are plenty of others out there that should be scrutinized a bit more.

    Tell me about it! Let's start with the telcos leveraging their market power to either extort consumers, Time Warner, or prevent competition in the form of township's providing broadband service to their residents.

    Last time I checked in order to trigger anti-monopoly regulation you actually have to be abusing your power of monopoly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    polo, 13 May 2009 @ 8:46am

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    polo, 13 May 2009 @ 8:46am

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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