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Google drops $5 million on D.C. lobbying in 2010

Spending on Google's congressional arm-wringing was up 29 percent this year as the company sought to defend its interests in Washington.

Google spent more money in Washington in 2010 as it tried to make its case while fending off federal regulators.

Doing business in the nation's capital requires some expenses, and this year's lobbying efforts set Google back $5.16 million, a 28 percent increase from last year's total of $4.03 million, according to the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database. Google's interests on Capitol Hill won't surprise many: the company lobbied Congress on issues such as the Internet freedom push from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, cloud computing, intellectual property, data privacy, and Google's pending acquisition of ITA Software.

That last item will require some additional expenditure in 2011, as Google works to get its purchase approved before the Department of Justice decides to level a formal challenge to the deal. After a slow start, Google has ramped up its presence in D.C. over the last couple of years in response to a growing number of interests as well as increased government scrutiny.

Techcrunch notes that Facebook spent $351,390 on lobbying in 2010, perhaps recognizing that it has to start representing itself before wary members of Congress. Other tech company expenditures in 2010 include Microsoft at $6.91 million, Apple at $1.61 million, AT&T at $15.39 million, Verizon at $16.75 million, and Intel at $3.68 million.