If its lobbying spend is any indication, Google is trying to woo the government to its side. The search giant spent triple what it did a year ago on lobbying efforts in Washington, according to The Hill.
Google’s spending in Washington, D.C. has increased as government agencies increasingly scrutinize the company’s data privacy practices. Just last week, the FCC fined Google a paltry $25,000 for “deliberately impeding” investigations into Google’s “accidental” snooping of Wi-Fi networks. And earlier this year, Google attracted a ton of attention for completely revamping its privacy policies.
The company’s main concerns in D.C. were privacy legislation, including rules on online tracking, and cyber security legislation, including the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) bill. CISPA could enable companies to share private user information with the government to help it fight and prevent cyber security attacks. Google has not taken a position one way or the other on CISPA, so it’s hard to tell which side it’s playing.
Getting down to specifics, Google spent $5.03 million on lobbying from January to March, which is a 240 percent increase against the $1.48 million it spent in the first quarter of 2011. That’s not much compared to the $10.6 billion in revenue it cleared in Q1 2012, but every bit helps in Washington. Google CEO Larry Page used that earnings call to announce a Google stock split, something else it could lobbying about.
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