Given that Federal Trade Commissioners were reportedly “convinced” that Google (GOOG) was illegally using its dominance in the search realm to favor its own services over its rivals’, the company got off pretty easy this week by making voluntary concessions and avoiding legal action. But as Politico reports, we shouldn’t be all that surprised that Google got off with a slap on the wrist since it employed a not-so-secret strategy of shoveling $25 million toward lobbying expenses from the time that the FTC started its investigation into Google 20 months ago. And what did this $25 million get Google? According to Politico, it helped the company  to “cozy up to the Obama administration,” to hire “influential Republicans and former regulators,” to receive consulting from “Robert Bork and The Heritage Foundation” and to score meetings “with senators like John Kerry to make its case.” Needless to say, it will be interesting to see whether European regulators will keep on hounding Google since the company’s lobbying influence is less powerful in Brussels than it is in Washington DC.