From Om Malik’s April 28th weekly newsletter
❝ Bloomberg Technology host Emily Chang asked me where I think Facebook will be in a year. My answer: Pretty much where it is now. It will be unchanged or even emboldened, thanks in part to its new strategy of buying protection in Washington. Like many other industries — for example, tobacco and oil — Facebook has figured out that it can help write regulations that will allow it to exist blissfully and put its competitors at a disadvantage.
To tame Washington, you must have the right people. So, the company has begun hiring individuals that will help achieve this goal. These are seemingly innocuous moves in what is a long game…
❝ Neither advertisers nor Wall Street — the two constituents that matter more to the company than the people — don’t seem to care about the regulations and the stream of outrage news. Macquarie Research analyst Ben Schachter put it best when, in a note to his clients he pointed out that, if you “take away all the headlines, the controversies, the regulations, and what you are left with” is a company with lots of users on its platforms that “advertisers will pay to reach.”
The operative verb being “PAY”. Advertisers paying Facebook. Facebook paying lobbyists. Facebook paying new hires with experience at balancing the whole quasi-payola mechanism.