Google Inc.'s quarterly lobbying bills keep rising along with the U.S. government's scrutiny of the Internet search leader's business practices.
The company spent $2.4 million trying to persuade lawmakers and regulators in the third quarter, doubling from $1.2 million at the same time last year, according to a disclosure report the company filed late Thursday with the U.S. Senate's secretary's office. The latest quarter's total represents a new high for Google, which set up its lobbying shop in 2005.
Google's lobbying expenses have been getting larger with each passing quarter. The run-up has coincided with a series of government inquiries into Google's privacy practices and the power the company wields as the most popular gateway to the Internet. The Federal Trade Commission is currently immersed in the most extensive investigation yet as it looks into allegations that Google is trying to stifle competition by favoring its own services in its search results.
But Google lobbied on a wide range of issues, including regulation of online advertising, privacy and the state of Internet competition. In addition to Congress, it lobbied officials with the FTC and the President's executive office.
It was the second consecutive quarter that Google outspent rival Microsoft Corp., traditionally one of the technology's industry's big spenders in Washington. Microsoft's third-quarter lobbying bill totaled $1.9 million. And in the second quarter, Google spent 2.1 million, compared with $1.9 at Microsoft, according to disclosure reports the companies filed in July.
Through the first nine months of the year, Google spent $5.9 million on lobbying. That's 51 percent more than in the same period last year.
Other topics on Google's lobbying agenda included patent reform, Internet security, renewable energy, free speech, immigration policies and international tax reform.
The other agencies that Google lobbied in the quarter included: the Department of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Trade Commission.