NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Google is barnstorming the nation’s capital. Five years after it opened its Washington office, the tech giant is playing an increasingly powerful role in public policy debates over everything from patent reform to foreign policy.
Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) lobbied 13 government agencies last year, spending just under $6 million in the process. That places the search company right behind Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) and Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) among the biggest tech lobbies in Washington.
The company employs 30 staffers in Washington and turns to some of the biggest names in lobbying, including the Podesta Group, Dutko Worldwide and McBee Strategic Consulting, for outside help.
Last year, among the 16 bills that Google lobbied Congress on were a proposal to create an investment fund for clean energy and another to publicly detail who is using radio spectrum. Google also advocated for the Federal Communications Commission to support “Net neutrality” — an unfiltered, and equally accessed Internet.