Looks like two titan companies are gearing up for a major battle and neither are looking to back down. So here is the back story:
For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.
No one knew who the company was or even why they were doing it. But once it came to light that Facebook was behind the smear campaign against Google, they freely admitted to it; happily admitted to it even.
Confronted with evidence, a Facebook spokesman last night confirmed that Facebook hired Burson, citing two reasons: First, because it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, because Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.
I am surprised by the straight forwardness of Facebook, not even apologizing that they started the campaign to hurt Googles reputation. They stand by their actions and actually justified them:
Google has set out to emulate Facebook by using tracking programs and algorithms to connect more members from the top social networks to Gmail users. ”Google wants access to the dollars that Facebook is getting,” Lee says. “They’re trying to create a product that comes closer to mirroring Facebook’s ability to target specific groups of people for advertisers.”
If this doesnt sound like a war between Facebook and Google, I dont know what does.