World News – UK – Microsoft is quietly preparing to avoid the spotlight under Biden


Microsoft Corp, which largely escaped Washington’s control over big tech companies and signed a lucrative $ 10 billion government contract under the Trump administration, has emerged as a strong backer of the Biden campaign

The Redmond, Washington-based software company is the fourth contributor to the campaign committee of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, according to data from OpenSecrets, a website that tracks money in politics and campaign fundraising records

Company president Brad Smith plays a key role behind the scenes, hosting a fundraiser for Biden last year in Medina, Wash. He is also a big consolidator of dollars – people who help raise over $ 25,000 for the Biden campaign – and played a public role at the Democratic National Convention, similar to Amazoncom Inc Chief Policy Officer Jay Carney

Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott and his wife donated over $ 50,000 to support committees to help Biden win, campaign fundraising records show And Microsoft board member and co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, and his wife also made a generous donation to the Biden campaign. Hoffman’s wife contributed more than half a million dollars to the fund. of victory Biden

Microsoft’s senior executives also donated more to the Biden campaign during the primaries than any other major tech company, according to data from the Revolving Door Project, which is part of the Center for Economic & Policy Research (CERP)

« Microsoft has been in politics much longer than the other big, much talked about big tech companies, » said Max Moran, a CERP researcher, noting that it has been around longer than most US tech companies. / p>

Companies are prohibited by law from giving of themselves Contributions, according to OpenSecrets, were made either by the company’s political action committees (PACs) themselves, by members of the PAC or by their employees

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company used to engage with administrations on issues important to its business “Our approach has been consistent: we will partner where we can, we we will stand out where we should ”, she said, adding that the contributions were made by her employees, without giving further details.

Big tech companies, including Microsoft, are not among the top 20 contributors to the Trump Candidates’ Campaign Committee.However, Microsoft’s Smith, whose donations mainly helped Democrats, made several contributions to Republicans, including $ 15,000 donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee, campaign fundraising records show

The main contributors to the Trump campaign are government employees from the US Postal Service and the Department of Defense, followed by companies such as American Airlines Group and banks such as Wells Fargo, according to OpenSecrets

Biden campaign spokesman Matt Hill did not comment on the story, but pointed to an earlier statement shared with Reuters, that: « Many tech giants and their executives have no only abused their power, but misled the American people, damaged our democracy, and shied away from any form of accountability This ends in a President Biden « 

Microsoft has escaped mounting criticism from Washington lawmakers and investigations by regulatory agencies – resulting in one of the largest anti-trust lawsuits against Alphabet’s Google by the Department of Justice

In fact, the lawsuit offered Microsoft a potential opportunity to increase use of its Bing search engine, a victory years after dropping a long campaign of legal remedies.

The company’s other big competitors, such as Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Amazoncom Inc, are also grappling with various state and federal investigations

Earlier this year, Microsoft also won a highly controversial $ 10 billion cloud computing contract with the US Department of Defense after defeating Amazon in a contest marred by allegations of political influence from the president Donald Trump Stock has more than tripled since Trump took office

Microsoft has presented itself as an « adult in the room » to both sides on the subject of antitrust, a strategy that will continue to ensure that attention is diverted to its rivals, CERP’s Moran said

Smith and Microsoft, for example, have invested time and resources to stay in the good graces of Democratic lawmakers

Earlier this year, Smith met with the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, which produced a scathing report on how Big Tech is hurting its competition During the meeting, Smith presented Microsoft’s perspective as a company that has faced antitrust regulation in the past and also discussed his company’s concerns about how Apple runs its App Store, according to a source close to the case

Lawyers and antitrust experts have said there are some challenges that Microsoft still faces, although they are unlikely to result in significant action in the immediate future under a Biden administration For example, in February, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it will review past acquisitions of Big Tech companies, including Microsoft The company is also facing an antitrust complaint in Europe from Slack, which operates a product similar to Microsoft Teams

“This is the classic case with shiny objects,” said Andrew Gavil, professor at Howard University School of Law “Microsoft has managed to keep the focus on everyone else, even if they continue to be dominant in many areas where they operate « 

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Microsoft Corporation, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, President of the United States, Democratic Party

News from around the world – UK – Microsoft quietly preparing to avoid the spotlight under Biden



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