Public records requests reveal Google's shell-company tactics when seeking data center subsidies

Feb. 19, 2019
Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow has written an article noting that:
It's not just Amazon and Apple that expect massive taxpayer subsidies in exchange for locating physical plant in your town: when Google builds a new data center, it does so on condition of multimillion-dollar "incentives" from local governments -- but Google also demands extraordinary secrecy from local officials regarding these deals, secrecy so complete that city attorneys have instructed town councillors to refuse to answer questions about it during public meetings...The records reveal a pattern of extreme secrecy: Google uses special-purpose, anonymous LLCs to do its deals, sometimes using multiple LLCs for different parts of the deal (for example, one LLC might acquire the land, and another might develop it).
Doctorow's piece goes on to charge that: 
Google binds the cities it deals with to vows of silence, through extensive nondisclosure agreements. The agreements prohibit cities from revealing Google's power and water usage, payroll data, and investment level. Google argues that these are trade secrets that might reveal sensitive competitive data, but this is also the information that voters need in order to assess whether they are getting value for money when they hand over millions to one of the world's largest, most profitable companies.
Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow has written an article noting that:

It's not just Amazon and Apple that expect massive taxpayer subsidies in exchange for locating physical plant in your town: when Google builds a new data center, it does so on condition of multimillion-dollar "incentives" from local governments -- but Google also demands extraordinary secrecy from local officials regarding these deals, secrecy so complete that city attorneys have instructed town councillors to refuse to answer questions about it during public meetings...The records reveal a pattern of extreme secrecy: Google uses special-purpose, anonymous LLCs to do its deals, sometimes using multiple LLCs for different parts of the deal (for example, one LLC might acquire the land, and another might develop it).

Doctorow's piece goes on to charge that:

Google binds the cities it deals with to vows of silence, through extensive nondisclosure agreements. The agreements prohibit cities from revealing Google's power and water usage, payroll data, and investment level. Google argues that these are trade secrets that might reveal sensitive competitive data, but this is also the information that voters need in order to assess whether they are getting value for money when they hand over millions to one of the world's largest, most profitable companies.

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