SJ Mercury: Ellison defends snooping on Microsoft as 'public service'
Jun 29, 2000, 18:32 (19 Talkback[s])
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"Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison staunchly defended his
company's hiring of a detective agency to investigate groups that
supported rival Microsoft Corp., calling the snooping a ``public
service.'' News of the investigation Wednesday turned a previously
scheduled Oracle news conference into a stormy affair, drowning out
product announcements that were supposed to provide the Redwood
Shores-based company's answer to Microsoft's sweeping Internet
strategy announced last week."
"The brouhaha over Oracle's spying activities underscored the
fierce rivalry between the software behemoths and Ellison's
never-ending drive to knock Microsoft from its position as the
world's largest software maker. Oracle, the second-largest software
firm, publicly acknowledged Tuesday that it had hired Investigative
Group International Inc., a Washington D.C. investigative firm, a
year ago to look into actions of Independent Institute of Oakland
and the National Taxpayers Union of Arlington, Va."
"Calling the two organizations ``front groups'' for Microsoft,
Oracle said the organizations attempted to influence public opinion
in favor of Microsoft during its antitrust trial -- without
revealing that the groups were funded by the Redmond, Wash.-based
software giant. ``We're helping Microsoft with its full
disclosure problem,'' said Ellison, who said Oracle's investigation
was a ``civic duty."