Google said in a quarterly disclosure to Congress 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 Center for Responsive Politics.
Google declined to comment beyond its filing.
Google Chief Executive 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 search results 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 Washington.
Regulatory backlash in the United States, as well as Europe 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 General Electric