Oh, ew. Apparently Google donated a great deal of money to an academic center, and that same center happened to write a bunch of pro-Google academia. “From the beginning of the FTC investigation through the end of 2013, Google gave George Mason University’s Law and Economics Center (LEC) $762,000 in donations, confirmed by cancelled checks obtained in a public records request. In exchange, the LEC issued numerous studies supporting Google’s position that they committed no legal violations, and hosted conferences on the same issues where Google representatives suggested speakers and invitees.”
Now I know this is business as usual and all large corporations do it. It’s still vile. If a story or position stands on its own, why do you need to add money to slant it one way or the other? Worse yet, by throwing money into the issue, you’ve also obscured most chances of actually seeing any objectively-assessed truth. I don’t think this is going to fly in Europe’s investigations of Google.