According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is boosting spending on lobbying in Congress:
Google spent $950,000 lobbying lawmakers, regulators and the White House on issues ranging from cloud computing to copyright in the second quarter, according to public lobbying disclosures.
The sum tops the $880,000 it spent in the first quarter and represents a 30% increase from the second quarter of 2008, when it spent $730,000.
This is another marker of the transition Google has been going through over the past several years, from tech neophyte to major media company. Lobbying is simply part of the cost of doing business for a company of Google’s size and visibility. In addition the company is in the midst of several government anti-trust investigations of differing levels of formality.
Here’s a slide provided by Google that compares the company to other major US corporations. The final line shows the various lobbying budgets, although Google appears on pace to nearly double it’s lobbying spending (vs. what’s shown in the chart) in 2009.