Google Increases Spending on Lobbying by 28%
A number of reports released over the last week indicate that three of the biggest tech companies in the U.S. are using their wealth to lobby Congress on issues at the heart of their business models.
The reports revealed that Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Apple Inc. all spent more than $1 million on lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.
Microsoft led the way by a wide margin, racking up a bill of nearly $7 million for its lobbying efforts in 2010. Over the last three months of the year, Microsoft spent more than $1.7 million on lobbyists.
Apple spent the least of the three companies on lobbying efforts as the company spent just over $1.6 million during 2010, with only $380,000 being spent during the year’s final three months.
While Google did not spend the most on lobbyists, they did receive the most scrutiny. The company spent more than $5 million on lobbying efforts during 2010, a 28 percent increase from the previous year. As Google has expanded their portfolio to include both online and offline business ventures their lobbying budget has risen steadily.
The U.S. Department of Justice is currently conducting an anti-trust investigation of the proposed acquisition of ITA Software by Google. ITA Software is used to find airline ticket and seating information. The Justice Department has been reviewing the purchase since July of last year and their decision is expected in the near future. If the purchase is allowed, Google has agreed to acquire the software company for $700 million. According to records filed on January 20, Google did not spend money lobbying the Justice Department in 2010.
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