US Politician Questions Microsoft and Ballmer’s Involvement in NBA

Steve Ballmer is one of the investors who want to buy the Sacrament Kings

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer is leading a group of investors who want to purchase the NBA basketball team Sacramento Kings and relocate it to Seattle, just in time for the 2013 season.

Even though some sources have indicated that the deal was almost completed, California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg raised some questions regarding Ballmer’s involvement in the NBA business, warning that relocating the team could lead to plenty of people losing their jobs.

Steinberg said in the letter he sent to California Department of General Services Director Fred Klass and published by USA Today that Microsoft had a long collaboration with the State of California and moving the team to Seattle could actually do more harm than good to the state.

“I am troubled that a company and a CEO that has for so long enjoyed a prosperous and beneficial working relationship with the State of California and its taxpayers would blatantly engage in activities which are clearly and measurably detrimental to our State's job and revenue base – not to mention use profits earned through business with our State to appropriate a California-based asset,” Steinberg wrote.

In addition, the politician has asked Klass to disclose information regarding the number of technology contracts and their total costs to state taxpayers when it comes to Microsoft and the State of California.

While he admits that some contract details cannot be provided, Steinberg goes on to ask how much the State of California has paid Microsoft for its products and services in the last 10 years, trying to emphasize that relocating the team could, in the end, affect the state.

“As a state legislator, I am well aware that I have no direct role in the day-to-day management of the State's technology procurement processes, but I cannot stand idly by while a prominent out-of-state company that has significantly profited from business with the State of California actively attempts to acquire and remove one of my State and my region's leading private assets,” he concluded.

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