Google is reportedly spending $5.03 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2012, a 240 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago, according to new disclosures filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Google's first quarter expenditure topped that of rival Microsoft, which disclosed lobbying expenditures of $1.79 million for the quarter. Google even outspent Verizon, which reported first quarter expenses of $4.51 million. The internet giant still has not matched AT&T's spending. The telecommunications company spent $7.34 million in the quarter.
Google spent $1.48 million in the first quarter of 2011. The internet giant also spent nearly as much in the first quarter of 2012 as it did in all of 2010, when it spent $5.2 million.
Commenting on the report, Consumer Watchdog said today that the record lobbying expenditures show that Google?s executives "have completely bought into the corrupt Washington power game and are now outspending some companies known for major lobbying efforts."
"Google claims its motto is 'Don't Be Evil,' but the amount of cash they are throwing around demonstrates an astounding cynicism," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director.
First quarter lobbying expenditures for other tech firms include: Apple, $500,000 compared to $560,000 a year ago and Facebook, $650,000 up from $230,000 a year ago. In the first quarter of 2011, AT&T spent $6.840 million; Microsoft, $1.72 million and Verizon, $4.68 million
Generally, companies pump record amounts into lobbyingtrying to influence federal legislators and policymakers.