Google has established itself as one of the world's largest and most influential companies. With a $150 Billion market capitalization, Google is bigger than major companies JP Morgan and AT&T. Google has created a brand name that has become one of the most popular and recognizable in the world.
Google is Politically Influential
Google has demonstrated that it is a major player in the political world. The company spent $4 million in lobbying expenditures in 2009, 50 times as much as it did in 2003. This increase in lobbying expenditure dwarfs changes in lobbying expenditures of other major tech companies over the analogous time period; IBM expenditures, for instance, actually decreased over the six year period. Google's influence goes beyond spending – of the 62 registered lobbyists representing Google in 2009, 82% were "revolving door" lobbyists, having worked in government before lobbying for Google. Google CEO Eric Schmidt plays a large role in politics himself, holding fundraisers for both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and donating to both party’s Senatorial Campaign Committees.
Many Policy Debates Directly Affect Google
Google has increasingly used its considerable political influence in debates on issues that affect the company’s business. The company is affected by federal policy on broadband regulation, business competition, and privacy.
Unlike Many of its Fellow Tech Companies, Google Does Not Disclose Political Spending
Many major companies in the tech industry have implemented policies of full disclosure for all political expenditures the company makes. Microsoft and Adobe disclose all political spending, including contributions to trade associations. Dell fully discloses its political and trade association contributions, and has also stated that it will not make Citizens United expenditures. Google, however, has not announced a plan to implement any sort of disclosure policy regarding political expenditures.