Anyone who believes that the United States is a truly free market should think again. The US government is in so many instances the gatekeeper or arbiter for the spoils of public assets, such as wireless spectrum. And Google has discovered how central political favor in Washington to its fortunes.
In 2005 Google opened an office in Washington, D.C. and hired outside lobbying firms to advocate on its behalf with Congress. Now, according to this Fox News report, it has hired an “in-house” lobbyist.
This represents a ratcheting up of its efforts on Capitol Hill. There are a great many issues at stake for Google that are being addressed and debated by Congress: Net Neutrality, foreign worker visas, the openness of wireless networks, Internet privacy and, of course, anti-trust issues that surround its intended acquisition of DoubleClick.