Last April, while the Federal Trade Commission was investigating Google for antitrust violations (I never thought Google did anything wrong in this case), Google made a $25,000 corporate contribution to fund an award for Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC, Bloomberg reports.
And then this week, the web tightened a little more as the non-profit that honored Leibowitz with Google cash went ahead and hired Leibowitz’s deputy as its top lobbyist.
Google wasn’t the only funder of the award, and last year wasn’t the first time Google funded it. But the longtime closeness of the Obama administration and Google is legendary. Some details:
- Obama put Google former top lobbyist Andrew McLaughlin in the White House, where McLaughlin inappropriately worked with current Google lobbyists advancing regulations that would profit Google.
- Obama named unregistered Google lobbyist and five-figure Obama donor Vint Cerf to head the National Science Board.
- Google was Obama’s No. 3 source of funds in 2012 — notably, just behind Microsoft, which is the driving force behind the antitrust case against Google.
- Google CEO Eric Schmidt is a five-figure donor to Obama, and was floated as a potential Commerce Secretary.