How Google beat the feds - Tony Romm - POLITICO.com: "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."
The FTC Smartly Ends Its Imprudent Google Search Antitrust Investigation - Forbes: " . . . Fortunately for Google, throwing money at the problem seemed to work really well . . . But is that really how the system’s supposed to work? Google wasn’t the only player spending like a drunken sailor. The FTC hired an expensive outside lawyer and invested countless staff hours. And Google’s enemies spent plenty of money themselves, both directly and through advocacy groups like Microsoft's "FairSearch." For example, Microsoft has put on its own event (both in DC and in Europe), and see this San Jose Mercury News list of Microsoft-supported influencers (the article also tries to enumerate Google beneficiaries). With the FTC investigation over, we might project a recession in the legal industry when all of this money stops sloshing around. In the end, though the FTC reached the right result from its investigation, the money avalanche left me with a queasy stomach. As the cynical maxim goes, “he who has the gold makes the rules.” When titans clash over antitrust matters, it’s a fine line between justice being served and justice being bought."
Yes, unfortunately, that is how the dysfunctional Washington system works. And the sad thing is, the staff and Commission of the FTC probably think they are operating in the public interest--really! What a waste of resources. Another sign of America in decline.
There once were concepts of public service and stewardship of public resources (including taxpayer funds) in Washington. No more. Today, in Washington, it's just about feeding the Hogs at the Trough.