Google's 4Q lobbying bill triples to $3.76 million

Jan 23, 2012 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

Google's U.S. lobbying bill more than tripled to $3.76 million in the fourth quarter as the Internet search leader fought proposed changes to online piracy laws and sought to influence a wide range of other issues that could affect its fortunes.

The amount that Google Inc. spent making its political points from October through December is by far the company's highest lobbying tab for any three-month period since Google's Washington office opened in 2005. The total compared with a lobbying budget of $1.24 million during the final three months of 2010 and $2.38 million in the third quarter of 2011.

For all of 2011, Google spent $9.7 million on political persuasion, nearly doubling from $5.2 million in 2010.

The company disclosed its lobbying figures in documents filed late Friday with the U.S. House clerk's office.

Google's lobbying expenses have been rising steadily against a backdrop of intensified U.S. of the company's acquisitions and business practices. The focus has been prompted by complaints alleging that Google is abusing its of the lucrative Internet to stifle competition and muscle its way into other markets.

As a foil, Google last summer hired a dozen lobbing firms to supplement the team that it already employed in its Washington office. The bills coming in from those firms contributed to the sharp rise in Google's fourth-quarter lobbying expenses, according to the company.

Google's emphasis on lobbying mirrors what . did during the late 1990s while the U.S. Justice Department pursued an asserting the software marker had unfairly bundled its dominant with key personal-computer applications. Microsoft eventually thwarted the government's attempt to break up the company, but not before years of legal wrangling that included a high-profile trial.

With that case behind it, Microsoft now spends far less on lobbying than Google. In the fourth quarter, Google's lobbying expenses doubled Microsoft's $1.88 million bill. For all of 2011, Microsoft's lobbying tab totaled $7.3 million.

Google's fourth-quarter lobbying agenda included a proposed antipiracy law, which inspired an Internet protest last week. While some popular websites such as Wikipedia went dark for 24 hours, Google stamped out its colorful logo to signal its objection to proposed changes to online . The company says the changes would result in censorship and discourage Internet innovation. More than 7 people signed a protest petition posted by Google.

Movie and music studio backed the changes - dubbed the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA - as a more effective way to prevent rampant theft of their copyrighted material. Lawmakers postponed the legislation following the online protests.

Google's fourth-quarter lobbying push addressed online advertising, which accounts for most of the company's $38 billion in annual revenue.

Other topics covered by Google's lobbyists included: online security; personal privacy on the Internet; renewable energy; international tax reform; the treatment of corporate earnings outside the U.S.; the availability of wireless Internet access; free speech; and free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Besides Congress, agencies that Google lobbied in the fourth quarter included: the Federal Trade Commission, the White House; the Federal Communications Commission, the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative.

The outside firms working for are: Akin, Gump; Bingham; Capitol Legislative Strategies; Chesapeake Group; Crossroads Strategies; Gephardt Group; Holland & Knight; Normandy Group; Prime Policy; The First Group; The Madison Group; and the Raben Group.

Explore further: Mobile demand helps lift Taiwan exports 10.6% in June

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

Related Stories

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

Jul 21, 2011

(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 ...

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 ...

French Internet company seeks $419 mln from Google

Jun 28, 2011

(AP) -- Google faces a new, multimillion-dollar challenge in Europe after a French Internet company filed a lawsuit Tuesday saying the search engine giant unfairly squeezed out competitors in France.

Recommended for you

Ex-Qualcomm exec pleads guilty to insider trading

9 hours ago

A former high-ranking executive of US computer chip giant Qualcomm pleaded guilty Monday to insider trading charges, including trades on a 2011 deal for Atheros Communications, officials said.

Media venture creates press litigation fund

10 hours ago

The media venture created by entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar said Monday it was establishing a fund to help defend journalists in cases involving freedom of the press.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

michael_g
5 / 5 (1) Jan 23, 2012
"More than 7 people signed a protest petition..." While that statement is technically true, I think the writer meant 7 million, not 7.
migbasher
not rated yet Jan 23, 2012
Very funny typo, none the less!