Obama Administration Protects Google from Anti-Trust Investigation by the FTC
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that while the Federal Trade Commission was completing a “critical phase” of their anti-trust investigation, Google were conducting meetings at the White House.
According to the WSJ article these meetings occurred around once every week:
“Google’s access to high-ranking Obama administration officials during a critical phase of the antitrust probe is one sign of the Internet giant’s reach in Washington. Since Mr. Obama took office, employees of the Mountain View, Calif., company have visited the White House for meetings with senior officials about 230 times, or an average of roughly once a week, according to the visitor logs reviewed by the Journal.”
One might assume that these meetings being held at the White House between Google and the Obama Administration would have had an influence of the FTC’s decision not to take legal action against Google.
The decision of whether or not to pursue legal action was apparently a “close call” – so it can be surmised that any intervention from the Obama Administration could have easily tipped the scales.
If their defence, the FTC released the a press release that explains their position. This type of behaviour could be seen as indicative of a guilty conscience.
The FTC stated that:
“Today’s Wall Street Journal article “Google Makes Most of Close Ties to White House” makes a number of misleading inferences and suggestions about the integrity of the FTC’s investigation. The article suggests that a series of disparate and unrelated meetings involving FTC officials and executive branch officials or Google representatives somehow affected the Commission’s decision to close the search investigation in early 2013. Not a single fact is offered to substantiate this misleading narrative.”
The WSJ Article Isn’t Pure Speculation
In support of any conspiracy theories, the WSJ found that “During Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, Google employees were the second-largest source of campaign donations to his campaign by any single U.S. company, trailing only Microsoft,”. This suggests a possible quid pro quo type of arrangement between Google and the Obama Administration.
It appears possible that in return for campaign contributions, the Obama Administration helped Google slip out of a sticky situation with the FTC.