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
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.
Looking at these numbers, what strikes me is how low these sums are. $5.5 million is almost nothing to Google. Nothing. They reported $14 billion in profit last year. That means they spent 0.04 percent of their profit on lobbying here in the U.S. The scale is just whacked: a few million dollars means nothing to big companies like Comcast, Apple, and Google, but it means a lot in terms of political influence.