According to the Senate lobbying disclosure database, Google expended 27 per cent higher on lobbying in the United States in 2021 than it did in 2020, with total spending of $9.6 million.
That’s less than the more than $20 million it spent on lobbying in 2018, but more than the $7.53 million it spent in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Google spent $2.2 million on lobbying.
In 2020, Google’s lobbying budget shrank as the company revamped its government relations teams.
The biggest technology corporations, such as Amazon.com Inc, Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, and Apple Inc, have come under fire in Congress for allegedly abusing their market dominance.
A slew of measures in the form of bills have been introduced in an attempt to rein them in, but none have passed. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved one of the bills, which would prevent platforms from favoring their own firms.
On the other hand, it was reported that Google is preparing to file an appeal at the top court of the European Union to contest a previous decision to uphold a $2.8 billion antitrust fine
This was announced by a spokesperson for the Alphabet unit and confirmed that this was the second effort of the company to overturn the penalty.
In 2017, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager punished Google for using its own price comparison shopping tool to obtain an unfair competitive advantage over smaller European competitors.
In the previous decade, Google has racked up 8.25 billion euros in EU antitrust fines as a result of three judgments.
The EU’s General Court dismissed Google’s challenge to the penalties in November, stating the European Commission had rightly determined that the company’s tactics hurt competition.
The company’s contention that the presence of merchant platforms demonstrated substantial competition was rejected by judges in Luxembourg.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to appeal the General Court’s decision because we feel there are areas that require legal clarification from the European Court of Justice,” the Google spokesperson said in a statement.
“Irrespective of the appeal, we continue to invest in our remedy, which has been working successfully for several years, and will continue to work constructively with the European Commission.”
Vestager’s hand could be strengthened by the court’s support in November in her probes of Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.
(Adapted from Investing.com)