Google: Emails show Hood, MPAA wanted to smear company

Google attached as an exhibit to its latest filing a March 2013 email exchange between MPAA director of external state government affairs Brian Cohen and AG’s office staff attorneys Meredith Aldridge and Blake Bee. In the correspondence, the three bullet-point potential agenda items for the June 2013 meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General in Boston.

One of them is referred to “an attack on Google,” carried out by the media divisions of NBCUniversal Media, Viacom and Twenty-First Century Fox. Among the suggestions were a segment on NBC’s The Today Show in which an unnamed “large investor of Google” denounces the tech giant’s online conduct. The email also mentions a Wall Street Journal editorial that warns against Google’s stock falling “in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.”

Making “live buys” via Google search of illegal drugs, illegal firearms and counterfeit goods available to media was part of the plan, too.

“Please make sure you keep it confidential – we don’t want word getting out about the plans,” Aldridge wrote to Cohen. Bee was not copied on that email, but Cohen did loop him in a day earlier when he asked about agenda items for the NAAG meeting.

“Our pleadings speak for themselves as does the fact that forty other state attorneys general support our office’s authority to conduct this investigation of Google,” read a written statement from Hood’s office. A Google spokesman said no one from the company would comment beyond the court filing.

Clarion Ledger
7/27/15