Even private investigators for Microsoft
There were lawyers, intrigues, interceptions, a judge, the powerful at the bar. In the Microsoft trial only private investigators were missing to complete a picture that would appeal to fans of the legal thriller. Now, thanks to Larry Ellison, there are also those. The volcanic president of Oracle admitted to having paid a well-known private investigation office, Investigative Group International, to shed light on some companies allied with Microsoft in the controversy that opposes the producers of Windows to the US Government. The purpose of the investigation was to find out who was behind the Oakland Independent Institute and the National Taxpayers Union in Arlington, near Washington DC. These realities have long underlined how a possible condemnation of Microsoft would have heavily damaged the American economy, arguments put forward by presenting so-called independent studies. "But independents were not for nothing, neither the studies nor the realities that presented them – said Ellison – who paid these studies and those statements was Microsoft". Ellison's investigators have in fact identified several investments in advertising and in events the two institutions officially press, but in reality are covered by Microsoft funds. "We did nothing illegal – said the founder of Oracle referring to the rumors according to the which investigators tried to buy a waste paper basket for 2.5 million lire from a cleaning company – and the company that worked for us did nothing illegal. We have only done our civic duty. I am very happy to have contributed to a just cause. ?Microsoft's reaction was furious. One of Bill Gates's spokespersons even raised doubts about the "nature, purpose and duration of Oracle's activities", adding that it was a "petty attempt to discredit a society that a nation's heritage". The use of private investigators is quite common in Silicon Valley. In fact, companies try to obtain information on the activity of their competitors to anticipate or prepare counter-moves.