WASHINGTON, D.C. — Google increased its lobbying spending in the first quarter by a whopping 57 percent over the previous year as it paid $1.3 million to influence lawmakers and regulators, according to public records filed today.
“Google is relatively new to the influence-peddling game, but they’re now one of the highest rollers in Washington,” said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog.
Lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Senate Office of Public Affairs show Google spent $880,000 in the first quarter of 2009. Lobbying expenses for all of 2009 totaled $4.03 million. First quarter spending in 2010 was up 23 percent from the $1.12 million the Internet giant spent in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit Consumer Watchdog noted that a Google spokesperson once had the audacity to claim the company set up its Washington lobby shop because “it was important to give our users a voice in Washington.”
“Despite what Google claimed, it’s not about consumers at all,” said Simpson. “Google is seeking laws that let the company do whatever it wants in its quest for record profits. If that means record sums on influence-peddling, so be it.”
Google’s lobbying disclosure form includes both money it spent itself and money paid to outside firms to lobby on its behalf. The amounts received by lobbying firms will be revealed as they file their individual reports throughout the day.
Access the Senate Office of Public Affairs database here: http://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=selectfields
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Consumer Watchdog, formerly the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, Ca. Our Website is www.ConsumerWatchdog.org