Google spent a whopping $21 million on lobbying Congress and other federal officials in 2018, a record for the company as it tried to stave off the increased scrutiny Silicon Valley has been feeling over its privacy practices and content policies.
Lobbying disclosure filings released on Wednesday show that the internet search giant spent $4.9 million in the last three months of the year, during which its CEO, Sundar Pichai, testified before Congress for the first time.
The $21 million sum for the year tops the $18 million Google spent in 2017 — making it the top spender on lobbying of any company for that year.
According to their filings, the companies lobbied on issues like trade, data privacy, immigration and copyright issues.
The lobbying spree from the sector is unlikely to subside any time soon as lawmakers of both parties are now pushing for the country’s first comprehensive federal privacy law following a series of high-profile data breaches and privacy scandals.
All of the companies either declined to comment or did not immediately respond when contacted by The Hill.