Microsoft Hosted Congressional Staffers as it Lobbied on Antitrust Bills

Dozens of staffers met with company lobbyists in Washington State as Microsoft lobbied on antitrust bills that could majorly impact their business.

Microsoft Hosted Congressional Staffers as it Lobbied on Antitrust Bills
A building on the Microsoft Headquarters campus in Redmond, Washington

As Big Tech was lobbying to keep the Senate from passing antitrust legislation, Microsoft flew dozens of congressional staffers out to Washington for a multi-day visit with its lobbyists and executives. 

During the event, held June 29 through July 1, the staffers met Microsoft’s senior director of government affairs, Alli Halataei, according to gift travel disclosures filed with the Senate and House. Halataei is one of the lobbyists the company reports as having held discussions with members of the House and Senate on antitrust issues, according to its lobbying disclosure for the second quarter of this year. In particular, the disclosure indicates that Halataei lobbied on the Open App Markets Act and the American Choice and Innovation Online Act (ACIOA), the two antitrust bills that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year but are being held back from floor votes by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for unknown reasons. 

Microsoft is supportive of the Open Apps Market App, as it would impact their competitors Apple and Google much more so than it would them, but it is not supporting the ACIOA. “We’re not trying to lobby in favor of the bill. But that doesn’t mean we’re opposing it either,” is how Microsoft President Brad Smith described the company’s position on the ACIOA in a recent interview with Geekwire.