So, yesterday the FTC opted out of throwing the book at Google . Instead, it waggled its finger in an admonishing fashion --Bad Google! Naughty Google!--and Google promised that it would change its nefarious ways. So, are we surprised by the FTC's verdict ?
Nah, why should we be? The NYT points out just how much work Google  was doing behind the scenes on the political front. (Is that a mixed metaphor I see before me?), while TNW's Alex Wilhelm points to  a Politico report  that the search engine firm spent $25 million on lobbying during the FTC's investigation. With tech firms wise to the fact that a little bit of Washington influence can lead to a lot of leeway--Facebook has a former FTC chair representing their interests  on the Hill--Google's lobbying spend  and influence  in Washington has long been a focus  for both consumer watchdogs and tech watchers alike.
So, a win for Google. And, according to Dan Lyons, the result was an epic fail  for Microsoft , whose failure to persuade the regulators to go for the jugular and do Google in the same way that they did for Microsoft a decade earlier, ending the firm's global dominance in software and setting the scene for its decline. Still, Redmond, you've always got Europe .
[Image by Flickr user Wouter Kiel ]