A decade ago, a surging Silicon Valley giant was making plans to dominate the internet. Given a chance to stop it, regulators chosen by Barack Obama misread the evidence in front of their eyes.
Few moments in the power struggle between Washington and Silicon Valley have inspired more anger and bafflement than one in January 2013, when antitrust regulators appointed by former President Barack Obama declined to sue Google.
The decision still rankles the company’s rivals, who have watched the search giant continue to amass power over smartphones, data-hoovering devices and wide swaths of the internet, unimpeded by laws meant to deter monopolies. It has fueled some lawmakers’ calls to overhaul the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that spent 19 months investigating Google’s efforts to overpower the competition — and critics say, blinked.