If having friends in government is an indicator of corporate success, then Google is set to dominate the tech industry after doubling their lobbying expenditures last year.
Google spent $18.2 million on lobbying in 2012, after spending $9.6 million in 2011. “That’s far more than Microsoft and Facebook — two of Google’s biggest rivals both in real life and in lobbying circles — combined,” the Center for Responsive Politics notes. “Microsoft spent $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing its annual total up to just over $8 million . . . [Facebook] spent $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, and $4 million for the year — more than all of the money it has ever spent on lobbying.”
President Obama has a close relationship with Google, whose former CEO, Eric Schmidt was rumored to be on the short list for to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in the second term. Schmidt, a member of Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, withdrew himself from consideration. Google employees combined to form the third-highest source of campaign donations to the president during the 2012 race.