Microsoft (MSFT) lobbyists mopped the floor with Google (GOOG) last summer and fall, convincing anyone who mattered that Google’s plan to sell ads against Yahoo (YHOO) search results was the plot of a dangerous monopolist.
To try and make sure that kind of Google-is-evil talk never gets anywhere again, Google has one of its flacks running around showing lawmakers, trade groups and media a PowerPoint presentation called “Google, Competition, And Openness.” We embedded the “we’re not a monopology” presentation here in May.
The Googler in charge of saying how Google isn’t in as great of shape as everyone thinks is named Dana Wagner.
The New York Times writes that in contrast to th the toads who fought for Microsoft in 1990s, Dana is “boyish” and downhome-y:
The task of telling that story has fallen, in part, to the boyish, 33-year-old Mr. Wagner, a former antitrust lawyer at the Justice Department who drops words like “goofy” and “wacky” with an aw-shucks grin into discussions of complex legal and economic issues. In contrast to Microsoft a decade ago, whose executives would rarely hide their disdain for regulators, Mr. Wagner speaks of his former colleagues at the Justice Department in deferential tones.
In his presentation, Dana’s main point is that Google may dominate search, but it’s a small player in all the other businesses its entered. His problem is that courts and government officials haven’t bought that argument in the past, Stanford prof Greg Rosston told the NYT:
“When parties have tried to make the argument that television, newspapers and billboards are part of the same relevant advertising market as radio, that hasn’t flown with the Justice Department or the courts.”
In the end, the NYT speculates that Google will have its best luck courting government officials through its relationship with the current White House administration. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was a loud advocate for Obama during the campaign, and also helped his transition team last fall. Sources friendly to Microsoft also like to point out there are three or so other former Googlers working for the administration.
Here is Dana’s presentation again: