Oracle funding secretive anti-Google group: report

Oracle, it appears, has bought a share in an attack dog to maul Silicon Valley rival Google.

Redwood City’s Oracle has proudly declared that it is one of the funders of the Google Transparency Project, a shadowy effort by a secretive group that has issued reports highly critical of Google’s influence in government.

The project is run by Campaign for Accountability, which does not reveal its funders and has endeavored to keep invisible its connection to New Venture Fund, a deep-pocketed public interest group.

New Venture Fund is spinning off Campaign for Accountability into a new organization called Hopewell Fund, which is where the story takes an odd turn: Hopewell director Michael Slaby, a high-profile digital strategist, runs a firm that has created an election-campaign digital platform funded by Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt, raising the question of why the head of Google’s parent company has financial ties to a key player in a group bent on diminishing Google.

Now, Fortune has revealed that Oracle has been funding the Google Transparency Project, and wants to shout that out to the world. “Oracle is absolutely a contributor . . . to the Transparency Project,” Oracle senior vice-president Ken Glueck told the magazine. “This is important information for the public to know.”

The Fortune article suggested that Oracle, which is fighting to overturn its loss to Google in a $9 billion copyright suit it filed against the search giant, is one of many funders. Microsoft has said it doesn’t help pay for the project. Yelp, part of a separate campaign attacking Google’s practices in the European Union, told SiliconBeat it is not funding the Campaign for Accountability or its parent organizations. AT&T, which has been attempting in some areas to block Google from accessing utility poles to hang Google Fiber cable, said it does not fund the project.

 

Photo: Two men walk past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View. (AP/Jeff Chiu)

 

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