Google’s Q4 lobbying spend is in; and the search giant continues to spend more money on influencing policy and lawmakers than in previous years. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Google spent $1.24 million on lobbying, which is up from $1.12 million in the same quarter in 2010. In total, Google spent $5.16 million on lobbying efforts in 2010, which is up from $4 million in 2009. You can find the reports from the U.S. Senate’s lobbying database here.
For Google, this quarter’s lobbying efforts were slightly higher than Q3’s spending ($1.2 million) but lower than Q2’s lobbying bill ($1.34 million), and Q1’s spend ($1.38 million). In the fourth quarter of 2010, Google’s lobbying strategy for this quarter focused on online advertising regulation including privacy and competition issues, patent reform, cyber security and online privacy, renewable energy, freedom of expression and censorship, tax reform, free trade, Congressional Internet service usage rules and broadband access.
Google continues to put its lobbying resources towards “openness and competition in the online services market,” which probably directly relates to the search giant’s $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA. The deal is apparently being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department, and Google is reportedly trying to negotiate with the DOJ on the terms of the agreement so that the acquisition isn’t completely blocked.
The filing also indicated that Alan Davidson, which Google picked to help lead its lobbying efforts in 2005, will no longer be “expected” to act as a lobbyist for the company. But he hasn’t left Google; Davidson was actually promoted to Director of Public Policy for the Americas, overseeing policy teams in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. Google director of public policy Pablo Chavez has taken on the role of lead U.S. lobbyist.
Facebook, which has steadily ramping up its lobbying efforts in 2010, spent the most amount of money out of the eight quarters of filings, in the fourth quarter of 2010. The social network spent $130,000 in the quarter (up from $38,117 in the fourth quarter of 2009). Policy areas of focus for Facebook include global regulation of software companies and restrictions on internet access by foreign governments; internet privacy regulations, cyber security, and FCC regulations on net neutrality. In total, Facebook spent $351,390 on lobbying in 2010.