Google snatches Microsoft's lobbying crown

Last year Google spent more money than Microsoft on government lobbying, almost doubling the amount money they spent the year before. According to CNet, Google spent $9.68 million on lobbying last year, compared to Microsoft's $7.34 million.

After doing some digging in the United States Senate Office of Public Records, CNet's Jay Greene found that Google's lobbying efforts included a wide range of interests, ranging from battling SOPA to encouraging favorable renewable energy policies. That's a long way to go in just six and a half years, which is when Google's lobbying efforts began.

Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson took the findings as a chance to bash Google. "They've decided to play the corrupt corporate cash and carry Washington (game) like many firms such as Microsoft have long done."

Echoing the eloquent words of the late Steve Jobs, Simpson seems to think that Google's 'Don't Be Evil' motto is indeed bull$hit. "What sets them apart," he said, "Is they still hold themselves out to be different from the rest."

Regardless of how you feel about the lobbying system, Google could be giving their money to worse causes than those cited. Sure, they benefit Google, but at least they benefit the rest of us, too.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nokia already dominating Windows Phone market share

Next Story

Google+ to allow "alternate names" on accounts

21 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

"Regardless of how you feel about the lobbying system, Google could be giving their money to worse causes than those cited. Sure, they benefit Google, but at least they benefit the rest of us, too."

Anything Google [or any other big company] does is for their benefit -- not ours -- not the public's. If Google does something, anything you like, they hope that'll mean they can turn around & make money off of you. Even when they do something that seems non-biz related, that hopefully helps shape public opinion so more people will use [or continue to use] their services. That's not necessarily bad, because benefits are benefits regardless the motivation, but consumers shouldn't become complacent & blindly accept everything Google does just because of some PR motto about not doing evil.

"Google's lobbying efforts included a wide range of interests, ranging from battling SOPA to encouraging favorable renewable energy policies. "

is a great example... SOPA would have cost Google money, & because the end result of stopping SOPA benefits us too, their fighting it was/is cool. Renewable energy policies, maybe not so much. Putting ethanol in US gas tanks has proven to be a boon if you're a big US corporation growing corn, but hurts most everyone else & does little for the environment once you consider everything, from the energy costs & emissions growing that corn to the overall effects on the worldwide food markets. In the US, government subsidizing of electric cars benefits only the rich & the car makers, while contributing to a poor economy forcing more people to drive older cars with higher emissions.

Google corporate's interest in renewable energy generally fits in 2 categories: 1) PR, e.g. using goats rather than lawnmowers on their campus [which BTW I think actually saved money], & 2) hoping to get government subsidies themselves, whether in actual moneys or reduced regulations that would cost more money. The PR stuff is cool -- having you indirectly pay for some of their costs through your taxes, not so much.

What actually needs to happen is for more IT companies to get more serious about lobbying. Until the IT industry starts to match the spending of industries such as the music industry and Hollywood lobbyists, we will continue to have to fight against nonsense like SOPA and PIPA, the DMCA, etc. As far as I am concerned, %9.68 Million is merely a good start. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, et. al., need to step up their game and lobby even more.

It's not being evil... and that's only cuz Google says so. Yup, they've already bought your minds, poor little things...

I see John Simpson is taking the "Hate the player, not the game" approach, whereas Google is just doing the "beat them at their own game" thing.

It's a stupid business decision for Google to not spend money on lobbying when all their major competitors are doing it. The systems broken, not Google.

Until you get the lobbying out of the U.S. political system, it will remain corrupt.
Heck, even the congress & senate are EXEMPT from the insider trading laws!

They're spending their money to help something decent out, this is a good thing. I don't see how anyone could possibly twist this into saying they are evil, get a brain. Nice work Google.

Wow that's a new one. Google is damned if they do and damned if they don't. People are actually using this as an excuse to say that google is evil? Give me a break, they're pushing for renewable energy and against things like SOPA. Google is awesome. They treat their employees great as well. I have several friends that work for big tech companies including google and the ones at google get treated the best out of all of them. Treating their employees right, providing useful services, and lobbying for positive things? Google is alright in my book.

Amarok said,
... Google is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

No... I think Google does what benefits Google -- if they didn't do that stock prices would drop & shareholders would oust the board. Very few people are saints, & those running Google are no exception. Those who are unquestioning fans are simply proof that their PR can work.

... I have several friends that work for big tech companies including google and the ones at google get treated the best out of all of them. Treating their employees right, providing useful services, and lobbying for positive things? Google is alright in my book.

While it's cool that you have friends that are happy there, you're also explaining why you might not be all that objective.

The support of the people pushed back SOPA/PIPA not Google. I do not care how much they spend, lobbying is lobbying, no matter how you look at it. Google has better things to be doing at the moment, like coming up with new ideas rather than ripping their competitors or partners.

Just sayin.

itylernallen said,
The support of the people pushed back SOPA/PIPA not Google. I do not care how much they spend, lobbying is lobbying, no matter how you look at it. Google has better things to be doing at the moment, like coming up with new ideas rather than ripping their competitors or partners.


Just sayin.

djdanster said,
Well at least it was going to stop SOPA/PIPA and encouraging better renewable resources!

i cant really be mad if some of the money is to renewable energy lobbying.. I bet microsoft has good ones too tho