It’s no secret that technology giants including Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) wield considerable power when dealing with the U.S. government. However, a new report from The Wall Street Journal demonstrates just how deep the reach of the internet search and advertising veteran has in Washington.
According to data reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has, on average, one meeting with the White House every week from January 2009 to late 2012. The visitor logs and emails obtained by the publication reveal that Google executives, including the company’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, had 230 meetings during the Obama administration’s terms in the White House.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has commented on the publication’s story saying that the company considers having a strong voice in debates in Washington and helping policy makers understand their business as important.
To demonstrate the clout of the internet giant in Washington, The Wall Street Journal reports that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) executives “had a flurry of meetings with top officials at the White House and Federal Trade Commission” as the government was ending its antitrust investigation of the company in 2012.
Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of the company, is also said to have met with officials of the FTC, the agency handling the antitrust investigation, the publication reports. Soon after these talks, the FTC closed its investigation – the largest antitrust lawsuit government has taken concerning a technology company after an investigation similar in nature about Microsoft in the 1900s – after concessions from the technology giant.
While the White House has told the publication that its staff are “cognizant that it is inappropriate to discuss issues relating to regulatory enforcement,” the information gathered by The Wall Street Journal illustrates just how much a lobbying powerhouse Google has become in Washington.
Robert Karr’s Joho Capital owned 150,664 shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) by the end of last year.
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