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Remember when Google was a cool new company that let employees take naps and play in game rooms during breaks? Today, Google spends more money on lobbying that Microsoft.According to TechCrunch, the U.S. Senate lobbying database states that Google spent $2.06 million on lobbying during the second quarter of 2011. That's a 54% increase over lobbying spending during the same time last year and puts Google on course to pass the $5.2 million the company spent on lobbying in all of 2010 by the third quarter of 2011.At the same time, Facebook is ramping up its own lobbying efforts by hiring internal lobbyists and increasing spending on lobbying. TechCrunch reports that Facebook spent $351,390 on lobbying in 2010 and is on course to nearly triple that number in 2011 with a projected spend of $1 million on lobbying efforts this year.Some of the political issues that matter to Google and Facebook include:

  • Online advertising laws
  • Intellectual property, patent and trademark laws
  • Online security and privacy

There is no doubt that Google and Facebook have the money to make things happen politically, and it certainly appears that they're ready to use that money (in fact, they already are). Many of the issues that Google and Facebook are involved with in Washington D.C. can affect online publishers, including Newstex Authoritative Content publishers. For example, one of the issues that Google is actively lobbying to protect is freedom of expression and censorship. These are stories that online publishers should be following.What do you think about Google and Facebook taking such high levels of interest in government lobbying? Good or bad? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.Image: Flickr

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