Microsoft is quietly preparing to avoid the spotlight under Joe Biden

Microsoft is quietly preparing to avoid the spotlight under Joe Biden

Microsoft, which has largely evaded Washington’s scrutiny on big tech companies and landed a lucrative $ 10 billion government contract (approximately Rs. 73.977 crore) under the Trump administration, has become a major backer of the Biden campaign.

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

The president of the company Brad smith is playing a key role behind the scenes, hosting a fundraiser for Biden last year in Medina, Washington. It’s also a great bundle of dollars, people helping to raise over $ 25,000 (roughly Rs. 18,49,000) for the Biden campaign, and it had a public role during the Democratic National Convention, similar to Amazon Chief of Policy Jay Carney.

Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott and his wife have contributed more than $ 50,000 (approximately Rs. 36.99,000) supporting the committees that helped Biden win, according to campaign finance records. Microsoft Board Member and Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman and his wife have also donated generously to the Biden campaign. Hoffman’s wife has contributed more than half a million dollars to Biden’s victory fund.

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

“Microsoft has been playing politics a lot longer than the other big, talked-about tech companies,” said Max Moran, a researcher at CERP, noting that it has been around longer than most tech companies. Americans.

“He knows how to play the game on both sides of the aisle,” he added.

Companies are prohibited by law from donating themselves. The contributions, according to OpenSecrets, were made by the company’s own political action committees (PACs), members of the PAC, or their employees.

The Microsoft spokeswoman said the company has a history of engaging with governments on issues that are important to their business. “Our approach has been consistent: We will partner where we can, we will excel where we should,” he said, adding that the contributions were made by his employees, without offering further details.

Large technology companies, including Microsoft, have not made the list of the top 20 contributors to the Triumph candidate campaign committee. However, Microsoft’s Smith, whose donations have primarily helped Democrats, has made various contributions to Republicans, including a $ 15,000 donation (roughly Rs. 11,10,000) to the Republican Congressional National Committee, according to finance records. campaign.

The top contributors to Trump’s campaign include government employees from the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Defense, followed by companies like American Airlines Group and banks like Wells Fargo, according to OpenSecrets.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Biden’s campaign spokesman, Matt Hill, did not comment on the story, but pointed to an earlier statement shared with Reuters, which said: “Many tech giants and their executives have not only abused their power, they have misled. to the American people and they have damaged our democracy and evaded any form of responsibility. That ends with a President Biden. ”

Microsoft has escaped mounting criticism from Washington lawmakers and investigations by regulatory agencies, culminating in one of the largest antitrust lawsuits against Alphabet Google by the Department of Justice.

In fact, the lawsuit has provided a potential opportunity for Microsoft to increase the use of its Bing search engine, a win years after he abandoned a long legal redress campaign.

The other major competitors of the company, such as Facebook, Apple and Amazon, too dealing with various state and federal investigations.

At the beginning of this year, Microsoft also won Highly controversial $ 10 billion (approximately Rs. 73.977 crore) Cloud Computing US Department of Defense contract after it defeated Amazon in a contest marred by allegations of political influence by President Donald Trump.

‘Adult in the room’

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

Smith and Microsoft, for example, have invested time and resources to keep themselves in the goodwill of Democratic lawmakers.

Earlier this year, Smith met with the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, which produced a scathing report about how Great technology hurts competitors. During the meeting, Smith offered his perspective on Microsoft as a company that has faced antitrust regulation in the past and also discussed his company’s concerns about how Apple operates its App storeaccording to a source familiar with the matter.

Antitrust lawyers and experts said Microsoft still faces some challenges, even though they are unlikely to lead to any meaningful action in the foreseeable future under the Biden administration. For example, in February, the Federal Trade Commission said that review past acquisitions from Big Tech companies, including Microsoft. The company also faces a antitrust complaint in Europe since Loose, which operates a product similar to Microsoft Teams.

“It’s the classic case of shiny objects,” said Andrew Gavil, a professor at Howard University School of Law. “Microsoft has managed to ensure that the focus remains on everyone else, even as they continue to dominate many areas in which they operate.”

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