Google’s 3Q Lobbying Costs Eclipse $1 Million

biggoogle

Google Inc.’s quarterly lobbying expenses eclipsed $1 million for the first time during the summer as the company tried to build on its dominance of Internet search and expand into other markets.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company spent nearly $1.1 million trying to influence lawmakers and regulators in the third quarter, a 50 percent increase from the July-September period last year, according to a recent disclosure statement.

Google’s lobbying budget has been steadily rising during the past year even as it tightened its belt in other areas to bolster its earnings during the worst U.S. recession in 70 years.

Through the first nine months of this year, Google’s lobbying costs came to $2.9 million, a 41 percent increase from the same time last year. That contrasted with a 2 percent decline in Google’s companywide expenses during the same period.

Convinced the worst is over, Google’s management last month said the company intended to increase its spending again on technology development, computers and acquisitions. The executives didn’t indicate how the loosening purse strings will affect Google’s lobbying costs in upcoming quarters.

The recent uptick in Google’s political spending has come as the company has been muscling into new markets, including telephones, business software and electronic book sales. At the same time, Google has been steadily increasing share of the lucrative search market; it fields nearly two out of three every search requests in the United States.

Google’s success and unbridled ambition has raised more concerns about its growing power, attracting more scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers.

Last year, Google scrapped a proposed Internet search partnership with rival Yahoo Inc. to avoid a legal showdown with the U.S. Justice Department, which asserted the alliance would have broken federal laws seeking to preserve competition.

The Justice Department also has raised objections to another agreement that would give Google the digital rights to millions of out-of-print books. Google is negotiating revisions with U.S. authors and publishers in an attempt to persuade the Justice Department that the deal won’t create a cartel that could drive up the prices of electronic books.

Some of Google’s lobbying efforts in the third quarter addressed plans for digital books, as well as other intellectual property issues. The lobbying occurred in the House of Representatives, Senate and Commerce Department, according to the disclosure form filed Oct. 20 with the House clerk’s office.

Google also lobbied Congress and the Federal Trade Commission about regulations affecting online advertising, which provided most of the company’s $17 billion in revenue during the first nine months of the year.

Other topics addressed in Google’s third-quarter lobbying agenda included: cloud computing, a term used to describe computer applications that are delivered through Internet connections instead of installed on the hard drives of individual machines; the Internet’s fight against child pornography; general consumer protection; international trade agreements; and renewable energy.

Besides Congress, the FTC and the Commerce Department, Google lobbied the White House, Energy Department, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Federal Communications Commission in the third quarter.

Among those registered to lobby for Google were: Pablo Chavez, former chief counsel to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Harry Wingo, former counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee; and Johanna Shelton, former counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Computing

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Computing

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.
Computing

Lenovo’s Yoga C930 sale drops a $650 discount on its 2TB SSD laptop

Lenovo is offering one of its 2-in-1 laptops at a $650 discount. This Lenovo Yoga C930 laptop comes with a 2TB solid-state drive, a digital pen, a fingerprint reader, and a Dolby Atmos sound bar.
Computing

You won't want to miss these deals on some of the best laptops around

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.