With the search giant’s growing influence in Washington, it comes of no surprise that Google is pouring more money into lobbying efforts. For the second quarter of 2010, Google spent $1.34 million in lobbying efforts, up 41 percent from the same quarter last year. The number is on par with the amount Google spent on government relations in the first quarter this year, in which the search giant paid $1.38 million to influence lawmakers and regulators. The filings can be found on the U.S. Senate’s lobbying database. This brings Google’s total lobbying spending to $2.72 million for the first half of 2010.
Similar to the previous quarter, Google spent dollars on swaying lawmakers on the regulation of online advertising and privacy and competition issues in online advertising. This relates to Google’s acquisition of AdMob, which was approved by the FTC in late May after intense scrutiny.
Other issues Google is lobbying for include patent reform, consumer privacy issues, cybersecurity as it relates to cloud computing, health information and privacy, renewable energy policies, censorship, cloud computing for government and broadband access.
Interestingly, Google also spent lobbying money on “openness and competition in the online services market,” which could relate to the AdMob deal as well as the potential issue with Apple’s iAd policies (which don’t seem to have taken effect…yet). And Google is probably spending money to avoid scrutiny of its recent $700 million acquisition of travel software giant ITA.
According to a release issued by the Consumer Watchdog, Google also hired outside lobbying firms in the quarter, spending $150,000 on the Podesta Group, $120,000 on Dutko Worldwide, $90,000 on the Franklin Square Group, $60,000 on the Liberty Partners group and $50,000 on McBee Strategic Consulting.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...