Google (s goog) has been stepping up its lobbying game in Washington, according to documents filed with the Senate Office of Public Affairs, which tracks the behavior of lobbyists. A non-profit agency called Consumer Watchdog (formerly known as the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights) noted the filing in a news release today, saying the company was relatively new to the “influence-peddling game” but that it is now “one of the highest rollers in Washington.” According to the group, Google boosted its spending in the first quarter by 57 percent over the previous year, to $1.3 million, and spent over $4 million in total on lobbying efforts last year.
Google has been fighting a number of battles in Washington recently, including recent complaints to the FTC that Buzz, the social networking tool it launched in February, may have breached privacy laws. Google has also been struggling to overcome criticism of its proposed AdMob acquisition, which some believe could give the company too much market share in digital advertising. The Federal Trade Commission has been reviewing the $750 million acquisition deal for months.
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