Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google on Track for Another Record High: Lobbying Expenses

Google this week disclosed it spent $4.18 million on U.S. lobbying in the third quarter of 2012, bringing the company to $13.13 million spent this year — a record.

That makes Google the seventh-biggest lobbying spender out there, right after AT&T and the pharmaceutical industry.

Google’s previous largest year ever was 2011, when it spent $9.68 million. Its largest quarter ever was the first of this year, when it spent $5.03 million on efforts like defeating the SOPA anti-piracy legislation.

The big looming issue for Google now is an antitrust investigation being conducted by the Federal Trade Commission. Plus, there are lots of ongoing issues, like driverless-car testing and immigration reform.

As for some of its tech competitors, in the third quarter, Facebook spent $980,000 on lobbying, while Microsoft spent $1,860,000.

Meanwhile, Google his hired Austin Schlick, the formal general counsel for the Federal Communications Commission, to join its legal team, per Hillicon Valley.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik