Regardless of how people feel about antitrust laws, the hallmark of corruption is to selectively enforce laws in a way that harms your opponents and accommodates your allies. In this case, an administration that has been aggressive on antitrust enforcement when, for instance, spiking the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, took no enforceable action against Google even after finding wrongdoing.

It raises a major ethical conflict when the beneficiary of an agreement with terms so favorable that their propriety is questioned, has such incestuous ties to the very administration granting the dubious arrangement.

Google, and particularly its Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, have a relationship with President Obama that is too close for comfort. Schmidt has been a top-dollar donor to Obama since 2007, has consulted on his campaigns, and currently serves as a member of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. According to press reports, he was offered the post of Treasury Secretary in the second term–but ultimately declined. While holding court as one of Obama’s most trusted and generous confidants, Schmidt has continued to serve as one of Google’s most visible government relations operatives.