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Politics

Google shakes up lobbying efforts as it faces government scrutiny, report says

The search giant is reportedly cleaning house and shuffling its ranks.

Google

Google reportedly cleared out half a dozen of its lobbying firms this week. 

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

With a possible government antitrust investigation looming, Google has reportedly fired several of its largest lobbying firms as part of an effort to overhaul its Washington consultants. The firms the search giant cut ties with make up almost half of its more than $20 million annual lobbying bill, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The shake-up is part of Google's efforts to modernize its influence and better reflect the "global reach of its commercial ambitions" and handle potential "entanglements with regulators and lawmakers across regions," people familiar with the restructuring told the Journal. 

Google didn't immediately respond to request for comment.

The change comes as the Justice Department is reportedly preparing to mount an antitrust investigation into big tech. The investigation will look into whether big tech companies are engaging in "anti-competitive" behavior. Along with Google, officials are planning to look into Amazon, Apple and Facebook

The breakup of big tech has also become a key part of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign. Warren and other politicians rallied behind Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who called for Facebook's breakup in May. 

Originally published June 12, 7:14 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:45 a.m. PT: Adds background details.

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