Surprise! FTC Drops Google Anti-Trust Case
I’m wondering if Liberals and Occupiers will protest against what appears to be yet another Big Company involved in a pay for play scheme to avoid punishment? Anyhow, there are two big stories over at Politico about how Google beat the feds, the first linked by Drudge, more about the nuts and bolts of the deal, and the other
(Politico) Google escaped from a nearly two-year federal antitrust probe with only a few scratches by proving that the best defense is a good offense.
Instead of ignoring Washington – as rival Microsoft did before its costly monopolization trial in the 1990s – Google spent about $25 million in lobbying, made an effort to cozy up to the Obama administration and hired influential Republicans and former regulators. The company even consulted with the late Robert Bork and The Heritage Foundation and met with senators like John Kerry to make its case. In other words, these traditional outsiders worked the system from the inside.
It was all an old-school play for a company that long rejected the notion of lobbying in Washington. In February 2012, the company snapped up former Rep. Susan Molinari, a Republican insider, to lead its Washington team. She proved to be the political complement to Schmidt, who during the investigation donated for a second time to the Obama administration and much later appeared with top aide Jim Messina at the president’s reelection headquarters. The company grabbed headlines when it hired up Suzanne Michel, one of the FTC’s top patent experts, much earlier in the agency’s investigation.
What they really do not delve into is
- Google contributed $736,554 to Obama’s 2012 re-election (only $30k to Romney)
- Donated $128,517 to Obama’s first coronation, er, inauguration
- Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt donated $25k to the inauguration
- CEO Larry Page gave $25k to inauguration
- Senior VP David Drummond gave $25k
- Others in the senior management team donated smaller sums
- Larry Page was involved with multiple big money fundraisers for Obama during the 2012 cycle
Must be nice.