Navigation Links
Consumer Watchdog Asks White House Counsel to Rule that Administration Must Distance Itself from Google During Probes
Date:6/24/2011

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer Watchdog has asked the White House Counsel to rule that President Obama and other members of the Administration must distance themselves from Google while the company is the target of serious federal investigations, including a criminal probe into allegations the search giant profited from selling online ads to illegal pharmacies.

In a letter released today to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, who is responsible for overseeing White House ethics policy, Jamie Court, Consumer Watchdog president and John M. Simpson, director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan group's Privacy Project, noted that Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, and Marissa Mayer, a Google vice president, were both guests at the recent State Dinner honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"It has long been a tradition to invite some business leaders to attend these White House functions. However, executives of companies under federal criminal investigation should not be invited while a major case is pending," they wrote. "Allowing such executives to hobnob at a gala White House event inevitably sends a message that the Administration supports them and undercuts the ability of federal investigators to proceed with their case in a fair and unbiased way."

Read Consumer Watchdog's letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrruemmler062311.pdf

Google is under criminal investigation into allegations that it profited from selling online ads to illegal pharmacies. These illicit pharmacies may violate U.S. law by peddling expired or counterfeit prescription medication, or selling medicine without a physician's prescription. Before the State Dinner Google had begun negotiating a settlement of the charges and had filed notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was setting aside $500 million – roughly one-sixth of its 2011 first-quarter revenue – to resolve the case.

"Clearly, entertaining Google executives at the White House while a case of this magnitude is pending poses an inappropriate conflict of interest," the letter said. "In addition to the drug ads case, Google is understood to be the target of an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. While the Commission is an independent agency, prudence suggests that the White House ought not entertain executives of a company that is the target of a major FTC probe."

The letter also raised concerns about Attorney General Eric Holder's appearance at a White House conference with Google and other companies pushing an effort to protect intellectual property rights that was, among other things, targeting fake drug sales. No mention was made of the fact that Google was under investigation for its role in selling ads for the counterfeit drugs. It is not clear whether Holder was aware at that time of the probe by the U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island into allegations that the search giant profited from selling online ads to illegal pharmacies. If he was aware of the investigation, yet appeared at the forum with Google, that certainly would be problematic, Consumer Watchdog said.

"It is clear that hardworking dedicated federal employees are pursing significant investigations into Google's activities. Unfortunately when top Administration officials entertain Google executives, it undercuts those investigations by sending the implicit message that the Administration supports Google," the letter said.

"We ask you to render a formal opinion that the President and other top Administration officials must step back and assume a neutral position so the various investigations into Google's activities can be concluded in a fair and professional manner," the letter concluded.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Consumer Advocates Support Patent Office on Stem Cell Patent Rejection
2. Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold by Chester County Dairy
3. Dog Law Officers Crackdown on Unsatisfactory Kennels Protecting Animals, Consumers
4. Survey Finds At-Risk Consumers Interested in OTC Statin
5. Florastor(R) Receives ConsumerLab.com Certification
6. Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold by Lebanon County Dairy
7. Consumer Group Urges Gov. Schwarzenegger to Sign Stem Cell Bill Into Law
8. Video: Partnership Unites UCB with Consumer Product Innovator OXO(R)
9. New Federal Stem Cell Rules Would Hinder Existing Research, Consumer Group Warns
10. IncentOne Introduces Next Generation of Healthy Choice Award(TM) Incentive Solution to Drive Consumer and Provider Engagement
11. comScore Study Finds the Internet a Key Component in Consumer Research on Prescriptions and Health Conditions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/16/2017)... , June 16, 2017  Exactly 50 years ago ... off what later became known as the San Francisco "Summer ... ) is unveiling two radical innovations in strategic market research ... This announcement marks the beginning of Northern Light,s "Summer of ... ...
(Date:6/12/2017)... , June 12, 2017 Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology ... Kineta Vice President of R&D and Head of ... Pandemic Preparedness for the Northwest and Beyond meeting ... on June 14, 2017 from 8:30-10:30 AM PDT at the ... Dr. Bedard will be joined by other ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... MAITLAND, Fla. , June 8, 2017  Less ... ransomware attack that hit more than 200,000 companies, including hospital ... is being heralded as one of the largest online ... technology in the healthcare market, it is imperative that ... can protect their data from this — and many ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Everybody has their ... while others prefer to read it, and some people don't like it at all. ... Here's what they found: , Erotic literature can give readers a taste of their ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... 21 Middle East and South Asia Leaders Selected ... from government, business and civil society in 11 countries across the Middle East and ... in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds in their ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Ulster University, Magee Campus in Northern Ireland is hosting ... pm to present to graduate students exciting new and innovative hope research based on ... by The Health Improvement Service of the Western Health & Social Care Trust (WHSCT) ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Moore Insurance, ... area with access to asset protection and financial planning services, is teaming up ... improving the lives of children with cancer and other chronic diseases. , The ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... from the American Heart Association (AHA) to launch a Rheumatic Heart Disease Center, ... prevention and diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in high-risk, financially disadvantaged countries ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):