Google has fired back at The Wall Street Journal today over what it says are inaccuracies in its recent reporting on a leaked FTC document.
At issue is a Wall Street Journal report from last week based on an inadvertently released FTC document that detailed the agency's conclusions in a 2013 antitrust case against Google. In its response, Google's SVP of Communications and Policy, Rachel Whetstone, argues that the report contained several inaccuracies concerning both the FTC's final decision and Google's efforts to influence legislation in Washington.
On the FTC's ultimate decision to require Google to make alterations to its business practices, the report alleged that this was "in contrast" to the findings of the FTC report. Whetstone responds:
As the FTC made clear this week: "... the Commission's decision on the search allegations was in accord with the recommendations of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel" (something the Journal has chosen not to report).
The Wall Street Journal's report also called out the 230 visits that Google has made to the White House since President Obama was elected — specifically contrasting them with Comcast's 20 visits over the same period. Whetstone's response points out key figures that were missing in the original report:
Of course we've had many meetings at the White House over the years. But when it comes to the information the Journal provided to Google about these meetings, our employment records show that 33 of the White House visits were by people not employed here at the time. And over five visits were a Google engineer on leave helping to fix technical issues with the government's Healthcare.gov website (something he's been very public about). Checking through White House records for other companies, our team counted around 270 visits for Microsoft over the same time frame and 150 for Comcast.
In any case, we recommend checking out Google's full response at the source link below. It's a fascinating read and even offers up some entertainment in the form of snarky GIFs.