Google’s 8th-ranked D.C. lobbying machine flexes new political power

“Google Inc. is moving its Washington office closer to Capitol Hill after spending $18.2 million on lobbying, more than Northrop Grumman Corp. and enough to rank the technology company as the eighth-biggest advocacy spender,” Todd Shields reports for Bloomberg News. “It’s an investment that’s already paying off in increased influence. Google has hired lobbyists and boosted political giving on its way to wins at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, and it has entrée to the White House where an employee is helping fix the ailing Obamacare website.”

“Google adopted the tools for gaining influence: campaign cash, attentive lobbyists and friends on both sides of the partisan divide. Last year the Silicon Valley company hired former Republican Representative Susan Molinari to lead its Washington office, and Chairman Eric Schmidt was a high-profile contributor and backer of President Barack Obama’s re-election,” Shields reports. “Google passed two Washington power tests when it escaped an FCC probe in 2012 of improper data collection with a $25,000 fine, and the FTC dropped an antitrust probe in January. Now lobbyists for the company are working on protecting its reputation amid revelations about U.S. spying.”

“Google was ‘outraged’ after a report the NSA intercepted data from its networks, David Drummond, the Mountain View, California-based company’s top lawyer, said in a statement Oct. 31. The incident, detailed by the Washington Post, “underscores the need for urgent reform,” Drummond said,” Shields reports. “Google is asking Congress for the ability to publicly release how often technology companies turn over customer data in response to government orders. Companies joining in the push to provide more transparency to its customers include Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Microsoft and AOL Inc… ‘They have caught up’ after a slow start in Washington, John Feehery, a former Republican leadership aide in the House, said in an interview. ‘From their reputational standpoints, they have to be strong in condemning NSA. They can’t be seen as puppets.'”

Shields reports, “Google joined Red Hat Inc., Oracle Corp. and other technology companies contributing computer engineers and programmers to help the Obama administration fix the U.S. health-insurance exchange website created under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A Google worker on leave is participating.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Google’s antitrust settlement with U.S. FTC reshapes patent disputes – January 5, 2013
Google fined $7 million over Street View privacy breaches – March 12, 2013
US FTC votes to fine Google $22.5 million for bypassing Safari privacy settings; Settlement allows Google to admit no liability – July 31, 2012


  1. So, The First Lady’s Canadian friend screws up the ObamaCare web site and we have to send in unpaid American IT specialists to fix it. What a deal. Does the White House know that there are unemployed skilled USA IT specialists that could have been hired to set up and run the ObamaCare web site using American tax dollars to do this right the first time. Or, was the plan to screw it up from the beginning?

      1. botvinnick once again exposes his crass ignorance and crude partisan hackery.

        Do you see a trend on the red US line, bot?

        With a do-nothing congress obstructing all legislative progress and intelligent budgetary reform, the labor conditions under the current administration have done nothing but improve for the last 4 years.

        Or do you recommend he should govern like Ireland, shoveling out corporate welfare and loopholes to achieve its current >12% unemployment, about equal to the EA-17 blue line?

        Why can’t you find it acceptable that Obama has, despite all right-wing predictions to the contrary, done absolutely nothing to deter business or in any way interfere with the “job creationist” ability to actually hire more workers? The slow pace at which these corporate gods and self-proclaimed stewards of the American economy are actually doing the hiring is something no sitting president has ever been able to significantly influence.

        If your complaint is that Obama isn’t giving corporations everything they want, then you live in fantasy land. Congress writes legislation, not Obama. Obama can’t offer anything that Congress didn’t authorize. Moreover, the corrupt lobbyists and their puppets in Congress are the last people to trust when it comes to labor relations. These are the companies that short-sightedly killed the domestic demand for their own goods when they outsourced as much as they could to near-slave-labor nations. No wonder that Clinton-era unemployment rates are unlikely to return until a full spectrum of businesses return to North America. Not all Americans are cut out to be lawyers, doctors, and corporate executives … thank goodness. Labor has been shat upon by corporate traitors, not by the current administration.

    1. The design of this healthcare plan was to fail from the beginning so a single payer plan can be controlled by the government and Obama can turn this once thriving country into Africa.

  2. Schmidts disingenuous outrage is so obvious.

    But they will be cleansed by politicians. Most people I know don’t know and don’t want to know anything bad about Giggle. They are like teflon.

  3. Google’s lobbying has enabled the share price to go well over $1000 a share because I’ll bet there are people in high places who appreciate it. Apple should consider spending some of its cash security blanket on something that might actually give shareholders some returns. Apple thinks it can’t get its hands dirty and still increase the company’s value. Good luck with that. Cash placed in the right people’s hands makes a big difference to a company’s well-being whether Apple believes that or not. A company needs increased influence to make things go their way. At this point, nothing is going Apple’s way and the share price remains in the toilet.

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