Just in case you were still wondering about the power of Google and social media sites such as Facebook did you know that just like any other big business they now employ lobbyists to bend the ears of politicians.
Recently released figures suggest Google spent $1.12 million in the first quarter of this year paying staff to lobby politicians, and in comparison Facebook spent rather less but still a fair amount, $230,000 in the same time period.
In fairness to Google they were up against Microsoft Corp, who were trying to block Google’s ITA acquisition. They paid $700 million in the acquisition of airline fare tracker ITA Software. So it is easy to see the necessity for lobbying when you are up against such big boys.
Included in the issues Google were lobbying were online advertising, trademarks and copyrights, renewable energy, censorship and wireless spectrum for high-speed Internet access.
Facebook has also ramped up its efforts, which makes sense as it is constantly under fire from privacy activists and as it grows bigger it will inevitably attract attention from Congress and the regulators.
Facebook has 2 registered lobbyists, Google 11 and Microsoft 16 but the funny thing is just about every single politician in Washington uses Facebook every day to campaign and to keep in touch with constituents.