Google and the White House, sitting in a tree

The Intercept‘s David Dayen has a fascinating report, with great interactive infographics, about the close relationship between Google, its executives, and former employees and the Obama administration—which, he says, includes Google employees attending White House meetings at a pace of more than one a week on average.

Dayen argues that the cozy relationship leaves the federal government less inclined to play hardball with one of the world’s most powerful companies:

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.

Even if your own take on these Google-Obama ties isn’t instinctively alarmist—me, I tend to spend more time worrying about the feds being clueless and out of the loop when it comes to tech—the piece is a great read.