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:2/11/2016)... a major "team investment" by Bruce Montgomery , one of this area,s most prominent biotech ... Leen Kawas , PhD. Photo - ... ... ... Kawas said the round was intended to be an $8 ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... presentation will be made at the 38th annual ... Wound Care Symposium, which is being held February 14-18, ... conference covers the latest advancements in wound healing, burn ... American Burn Association, Australian-New Zealand Burns Association, Academy of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , Feb. 11, 2016  Galmed ... clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of a ... announced today that its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. ... retiring from Galmed as Chief Medical Officer and from ... 2016 due to her reaching retirement age. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Sherly Sulaiman, certified ... series of therapeutic sessions to help Los Angeles-area actors cope with rejection, improve ... The series, known as “Mindfulness for Actors and Artists,” has been featured in ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... LaserShip, a regional ... to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan last Friday in order to aid in ... into the Midwest to include a facility located in Clio, only 15 miles away ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to expand dental health services to the developmentally disabled in the Coachella Valley. ... operations to a new facility at 71-949 Highway 111, Suite 100-B, in Rancho ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... As part of its ongoing series of aquatic therapy ... webinar features a dynamic expert and thoughtful presentation to give attendees a better sense ... Both events are free to attend, but registration is required. , Rehabilitation ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Intermedix announced on Wednesday that it ... emergency medicine professional association, to support the organization's newly established physician group with ... Emergency Medicine, or AAEM, seeks to empower emergency physicians to control their own ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):