Google's lobbying bill tops $2M for 1st time in 2Q

Jul 21, 2011 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Google Inc.'s quarterly lobbying expenses surpassed $2 million for the first time during the spring and early summer amid U.S. government scrutiny that hatched a wide-ranging investigation into the Internet search leader's business practices.

The company spent $2.06 million trying to make its points with lawmakers and regulators during the April-June period, a 54 percent increase from $1.34 million at the same time last year, according to documents filed late Wednesday.

This year's second quarter lobbying bill is by far the largest that Google has run up since opening its Washington, D.C., office in 2005 to push its agenda. The previous high came during the first three months of the year when Google's poured $1.48 million into its lobbying efforts.

In another first, Google is now spending more on lobbying than ., a fierce rival and critic that has urged to rein in Google.

Microsoft, traditionally one of the technology's industry's big spenders in Washington, put $1.85 million into lobbying during the second quarter.

Google's increased focus on lobbying comes at a time when it is facing the same kind of regulatory heat that Microsoft dealt with during the late 1990s.

The U.S. Justice Department ultimately filed a lawsuit alleging Microsoft had used its dominant to kill competition in the then-nascent . That sparked a legal battle that distracted Microsoft for years and forced the company to change the way it bundled its Internet Explorer browser with Windows.

The U.S. last month launched its own inquiry into whether Google is abusing its of to funnel online traffic to its own services and drive up the prices of the ads that generates most of its revenue. European regulators opened a similar investigation into Google late last year.

Google Executive Chairman is expected to defend the company's business practices in September when he is scheduled to appear before a U.S. Senate committee that focuses on antitrust law.

The state of Internet competition was among the topics that Google lobbyists addressed during the second quarter, according to a statement filed with the U.S. Senate's secretary's office. Google discussed the matter with members of Congress, the FTC and the Justice Department, the filing said.

To help make its case, hired Stewart Jeffries, a former antitrust counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, earlier this year. Jeffries was among Google's registered lobbyists in the .

Other issues covered by Google's lobbyists included: regulation of online advertising and privacy; patent reform; online security; renewable energy, international free speech and censorship; and international tax reform.

The company directed its powers of political persuasion at the Commerce Department, the executive office of the President, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S Trade Representative.

Besides Jeffries, Google's team of lobbyists includes:: Pablo Chavez, former chief counsel to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Harry Wingo, former counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee; Johanna Shelton, former counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Frannie Wellings, a former legislative assistant to former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.; Katherine Oyama, former associate counsel to the office of Vice President Joe Biden; and Seth Webb, who has held a variety of positions for lawmakers and House committees.

Explore further: IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google's 3Q lobbying costs eclipse $1 million

Nov 04, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc.'s quarterly lobbying expenses eclipsed $1 million for the first time during the summer as the company tried to build on its dominance of Internet search and expand into other markets.

Google: $1.4M on 1Q lobby on China, other issues

Apr 21, 2010

(AP) -- Google Inc. spent $1.4 million in the first quarter to lobby the federal government on everything from its decision to stop censoring search results in China to the tussle over open Internet rules before the Federal ...

Microsoft encourages antitrust scrutiny of Google

Feb 28, 2010

Microsoft Corp. on Friday made its case publicly for increased antitrust scrutiny of rival Google Inc., while deflecting criticism that one of its European properties helped spur a local investigation of the Internet search ...

Microsoft attacks Google over security

Apr 11, 2011

Microsoft Corp. is lashing out at Google Inc., extending hostilities between two of the most prominent corporations in the technology industry.

Google facing wide-ranging US antitrust probe

Jun 23, 2011

The US Federal Trade Commission is poised to open a formal antitrust probe into whether Internet search giant Google has abused its dominance on the Web, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Recommended for you

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

10 hours ago

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

11 hours ago

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."

Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work

12 hours ago

Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump (Update)

21 hours ago

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exacerbated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...