“When President Obama announced his support last week for a Federal Communications Commission plan to open the market for cable set-top boxes — a big win for consumers, but also for Google — the cable and telecommunications giants who used to have a near-stranglehold on tech policy were furious,” David Dayen reports for The Intercept. “AT&T chief lobbyist Jim Cicconi lashed out at what he called White House intervention on behalf of ‘the Google proposal.'”
“He’s hardly the first to suggest that the Obama administration has become too close to the Silicon Valley juggernaut,” Dayen reports. “Over the past seven years, Google has created a remarkable partnership with the Obama White House, providing expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government projects.”
“Precisely how much influence this buys Google isn’t always clear. But consider that over in the European Union, Google is now facing two major antitrust charges for abusing its dominance in mobile operating systems and search. By contrast, in the U.S., a strong case to sanction Google was quashed by a presidentially appointed commission,” Dayen reports. ” Google representatives attended White House meetings more than once a week, on average, from the beginning of Obama’s presidency through October 2015. Nearly 250 people have shuttled from government service to Google employment or vice versa over the course of his administration… Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was an enthusiastic supporter of both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and has been a major Democratic donor.”
“Between January 2009 and October 2015, Google staffers gathered at the White House on 427 separate occasions. All told, 182 White House employees and 169 Google employees attended the meetings, with participation from almost every domestic policy and national security player in the West Wing,” Dayen reports. “The frequency of the meetings has increased practically every year, from 32 in 2009 to 97 in 2014. In the first 10 months of 2015, which is as far as the study goes, there were 85 Google meetings.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Something smells fishy in Washington D.C. As usual.
Google averages one White House meeting per week during Obama administration – March 25, 2015
U.S. FTC report details how Google skewed search results in its own favor – March 20, 2015
Google’s antitrust settlement with U.S. FTC reshapes patent disputes – January 5, 2013
The FTC’s missed opportunity on Google – January 4, 2013
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011