A blog entry by Michael Kanellos at ZDNet links to and expands upon an article in the Charlotte Observer. Last year Google was apparently throwing its weight around in North Carolina, seeking tax breaks from state and local legislators. When the company didn't get what it wanted pressure was brought to bear on legislative aides, journalists, and politicians. The search giant was especially touchy about keeping the negotiations secret: "Executives didn't want anybody even to mention the company's name for fear that competitors could learn of its plans. Most involved with the negotiations were required to sign nondisclosure agreements ... That posed challenges for elected officials, charged with conducting the public's business in the open. As the tax measure wended its way through the legislature, some lawmakers began linking it to Google." The results of this deal are extremely lucrative for both sides. Google brought some $600 million in investment and as many as 200 jobs to the state, and legislation enacted with Google's help is projected to save the company some $89 million in taxes over 30 years.
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