The Associated Press October 21, 2010, 3:00PM ET

Google spent $1.2M in 3Q lobbying, up 11 pct

Google Inc. spent $1.2 million during the third quarter trying to make its points with federal lawmakers and regulators on a wide range of issues that included Internet privacy, copyrights and its proposed acquisition of an online travel technology service.

The lobbying spending in July through September that is detailed in a filing late Wednesday represented an 11 percent increase from the same period last year.

It was the fifth consecutive quarter Google spent more than $1 million on political persuasion.

Google has been steadily increasing its lobbying budget in recent years as its ambitions have expanded beyond dominating Internet search. The company has made various investments in alternative energy, for example, and that's one of the topics its lobbyists discussed with members of House of Representatives in the third quarter.

Most of Google's lobbying remains focused on issues that come up in its main business of processing search results and selling online ads.

Along those lines, Google's third-quarter lobbying agenda included familiar terrain such as Internet privacy, online child safety, free speech and access to the Web.

After Google announced in July that it was proposing a $700 million buyout of ITA Software Inc., which sells technology that helps run the reservations systems for many airlines, Google lobbyists went to work trying to explain why the deal should be allowed to go through.

Some critics fear Google's search engine could use ITA Software to thwart competition in online travel, one of e-commerce's biggest sectors. The Department of Justice is still reviewing the deal's implications.

But the increasing sums Google has been pouring into lobbying don't match spending by one of its biggest rivals, Microsoft Corp. The software maker's lobbying bill totaled $1.63 million in the third quarter, a 9 percent increase from a year ago.

Some of the other issues that Google's lobbyists tackled in the third quarter included: digital copyrights, patent reform, trademarks, immigration, data security and employment laws.

Google lobbied Congress, the offices of the President and Vice President, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Commerce Department, the Defense Department and other government agencies, according to a disclosure statement filed with the House clerk's office.

Among those registered to lobby for the company were: Pablo Chavez, former chief counsel to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Harry Wingo, former counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee; Johanna Shelton, former counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a former staffer for Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., who chairs a House subcommittee on the Internet and technology; Frannie Wellings, a former top aide to Sen. Bryon Dorgan, D-N.D.; and Seth Webb, who has held a variety of positions for lawmakers and House committees.


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