There's no question that the government has grown phenomenally over the past decade. Under GWB's and Obama's watch, federal power—particularly emanating from non-elected officials within non-legislative bodies—has enjoyed an increasing level of influence. It's no wonder that public-sector workers' estimation of America's economic health well outpaces that of their private-sector counterparts.
One downside to all of this is that this growth creates a near-permanent base that produces little and will only continue to act (not to mention vote!) for the benefit of its own prosperity. One wonders who actually works for whom.
The FTC's actions surrounding Google's proposed AdMob acquisition, if the following accounts are to be believed, tell me that the Ahabs at this particular three-letter agency are pretty excited about landing the Great White Web Whale of Mountain View.
Will Price, CEO of WidgetBox, a San Francisco-based rich-media advertising startup, said that when an FTC investigator contacted him, he expressed his view that the mobile-advertising market is far from mature and that blocking the deal could harm an emerging industry. But he’s not sure he was heard.
“There’s a bit of a subtext, an agenda that comes across when talking to them,” said Price. According to Price, the FTC later sent him a transcript which omitted most of his views favoring the Google-AdMob deal and asked him to sign it and swear to its accuracy. Only after he protested did they send a more complete transcript for him to sign.
Ameet Shah, cofounder of Toronto, Canada-based Five Mobile, reported a similar experience. “It seemed strange, like I was being led to an already-defined conclusion,” he said. “They were definitely looking for reasons to investigate further.”
Make of this what you will.