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Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. on Jan. 30, 2014.
Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. on Jan. 30, 2014. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Google Spent Even More on Lobbying Than Comcast in 2014

Jan 21, 2015

Google’s influence is increasingly being felt in Washington, according to a corporate spending watchdog.

The search giant spent $16.83 million on federal lobbying in 2014, according to public records analyzed by public interest nonprofit Consumer Watchdog — just a little bit more than the $16.8 million spend racked up by noted big spender Comcast last year, as it sought to win approval for a planned $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.

Google is also spending considerably more than its direct competitors, such as Microsoft, which spent $8.33 million on lobbying efforts, and Facebook, which spent $9.34 million. In fact Google’s spend was the largest of 15 tech and communications companies that Consumer Watchdog tracks, including Verizon, Time Warner Cable and IBM.

As Google continues to expand to new business ventures, such as its just-announced contribution to a $1 billion investment into SpaceX, the company must wrangle with an ever-growing list of laws and policies. The Washington Post pulled back the curtain a bit on how Google spends its lobbying dollars earlier this year, revealing that the tech giant regularly funds research at think tanks and invests in advocacy groups on both sides of the political aisle.

Current political issues that would likely be of high interest to Google include the revamping of net neutrality laws and President Obama’s new initiative to ensure that cities are able to build their own municipal broadband networks, which could lead to faster Internet for customers.

PHOTOS: Inside Google’s New York City Office

A subway themed conference room where Googlers can video conference with other Google offices around the world.
A subway themed conference room where Googlers can video conference with other Google offices around the world.Eric Laignel—Google
A subway themed conference room where Googlers can video conference with other Google offices around the world.
A lounge and workspace in Google's Chelsea Market office where employees can get together for a meeting or relax on a lounge chair.
Steel slides connect Google's two story lounge.
A green themed micro kitchen emphasizes Google's commitment to sustainability.
Google's apartment themed conference room for those looking to “work from home” at work.
Google's build-your-own desks that allow employees to completely customize their workspaces.
Water tower seating in Google's aptly named Water Tower Cafe, one of five cafes at Google's New York offices that serve free food.
The Broadway themed conference rooms on Google's New York City-themed floor.
A bookcase turns to reveal one of three "secret rooms" in Google's library.
Google New York's library, complete with books donated by employees.
The Google bridge across 16th street in New York City.
A subway themed conference room where Googlers can video conference with other Google offices around the world.
Eric Laignel—Google
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