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Microsoft gives $1m each to presidential conventions

But it's mainly software - cheap or what?

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Microsoft is the number two contributor to the committee hosting the Republican convention with a donation of $1 million according to a Bloomberg report. And number one, since you ask, is that other old breakup hand, AT&T.

George W and friends will not however be whooping it up at Microsoft's expense, as the donation apparently consists of $900,000 worth of Microsoft software and just $100,000 in cash. Microsoft will be running a similar deal with the Democrat convention.

The Bloomberg report does however reveal a high spending ramp in Microsoft's 'win friends and influence legislators' department. The company has given over $2.3 million to candidates from both parties this year, and has bought itself $4 million worth of Washington lobbyists. On top of that there are the donations to clutches of Microsoft-friendly pressure groups, including the Association for Competitive Technology, the Cato Institute, Americans for Tax Reform and the Freedom to Innovate Network.

As Microsoft has admitted all this, it's a puzzle why Larry Ellison wants to waste his money paying people to go through their trash.

Microsoft is in a ticklish position with regards to the donation ramp, as it is inevitably (and reasonably) being seen as an attempt to get politicians on its side in the antitrust case. Microsoft maintains that it's simply trying to inform legislators, rather than buy favours, bu5t then there's nothing you'd call a Chinese wall between the two. ®

Related Link

Bloomberg analysis of MS contributions

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