Google ranked fifth in the amount spent on lobbying in the first quarter of 2015 among all organizations that lobbied Congress and federal agencies, according to an analysis by MapLight. The search giant spent $5,470,000; for context, that is more than four times the amount that Apple spent, and nearly $1 million more than Comcast did.
While the amount itself may be eye-opening, it's little surprise that Google has stepped up its lobbying efforts given the regulatory pressures it has faced. While the Federal Trade Commission ended its antitrust investigation into Google in 2013, FTC staffers did conclude that the company "used anticompetitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and rivals," the Wall Street Journal found through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Meanwhile, in Brussels, Google faces an antitrust investigation by the European Commission, which has charged the company with "improperly using its dominance in the search market to promote its shopping service, at the expense of rival tech companies and consumers."
thumbnail image: Virginia Mayo / AP
Hamza Shaban is a technology policy reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Hamza Shaban at Hamza.Shaban@buzzfeed.com.
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