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Google spends record $21.2 mn on US lobbying amid anti-trust, bias battles

Facebook Inc disclosed that it also spent its most ever on US government lobbying in 2018, $12.62 million

Reuters  |  San Francisco 


Alphabet Inc's disclosed on Tuesday that it spent a company-record $21.2 million on lobbying the government in 2018, topping its previous high of $18.22 million in 2012, as the operator fights wide-ranging scrutiny into its practices.

said in a quarterly disclosure to that it spent $4.9 million on lobbying activities during the fourth quarter, slightly above $4.4 million in the same period a year ago. The 2018 total also surpassed $18.04 million spent on lobbying in 2017, according to tracking of the filings by the nonpartisan

declined to comment beyond its filing.

disclosed that it also spent its most ever on lobbying in 2018, $12.62 million. That was up from $11.51 million a year ago, according to the data.

spent $9.52 million on lobbying in 2018, according to its disclosure on Tuesday, up from $8.5 million in 2017.

Lawmakers and regulators have weighed new privacy and antitrust rules to rein in the power of such as Google, and Inc .

Google Sundar Pichai, who testified in December before a US House of Representatives panel for the first time, has said the company backs the idea of national privacy legislation. But he has contested accusations of the company having a political bias in its and of stifling competition.

The company disclosed that among new lobbying areas in the fourth quarter were its search technology, criminal justice reform and international tax reform. Google is perennially among the top lobbying spenders in

Regulatory backlash in the United States, as well as and Asia, is near the top of the list of concerns for Alphabet investors, according to financial analysts. Shares of Alphabet closed down 2.6 percent on Tuesday.

The company appointed former as its Susan Molinari, Google's top U.S. public policy official, stepped down to take on an advisory role this month.

Inc's filing was expected later on Tuesday.

First Published: Wed, January 23 2019. 04:40 IST