Google spending more on D.C. lobbying

The search giant spent $950,000 on federal lobbyists in the second quarter, 30 percent more than it spent the same quarter a year ago.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

Faced with issues ranging from online ads to copyright laws, Google spent $950,000 lobbying Washington in the second quarter, according to a federal government database.

The amount compares with the $880,000 that Google spent on lobbying in the first quarter--and the $2.84 million it spent for all of 2008.

Among the issues that Google lobbied on: intellectual property, copyright related to the Google Book Search settlement, and privacy and competition surrounding online advertising.

Google has been under fire from the Justice Department over the company's settlement of a lawsuit with book publishers on digital rights issues.

Washington is also thinking of limiting the type of information that online advertisers can collect from consumers, according to a Wall Street Journal blog on Google's lobbying efforts. That's another hot button topic for Google, which depends on Internet ads for 97 percent of its sales.

"There is a growing number of issues being debated in Washington affecting the Internet and our users, and we feel it is important to be involved in those debates," said Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman told the Journal.

Although Google has upped its lobbying budget, other high-tech giants still pay more, according to the federal database: Microsoft spent $1.89 million to lobby in the second quarter, IBM paid $1.34 million, AT&T spent $3.06 million, and Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless combined shelled out $4.37 million.

The government's searchable database of lobbying activity is available on the U.S. Senate Web site.

(via Wall Street Journal)