• US stock market daily report (April 21, 2015, Tuesday)

    According to the OpenSecrets.org Center for Responsive Politics, Google Inc. (GOOG-Nasdaq) set a company record for its lobbyist expense activity during Q1 2015, shelling out $5.5 million in Washington. The hefty expense during the first three months of 2015 helps Google retain its number nine position as one of the biggest spenders in Washington, laying out $16.8 million in lobbyist spending during 2014.

    As Google fights antitrust battles at home and abroad, the tech giant extends its business into areas such as broadband connectivity and self-driving cars. The growth in investments in lobbying highlights Google's expanding presence in Washington.

    In a statement, Google's list of lobbying issues for Q1 2015 included legislative efforts to clamp down on aggressive patent litigation, a push to allow skilled immigrants to more easily stay in the United States, net neutrality, tax reform and broadband deployment.

    Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics said, "Google's big spending in Washington could be meant in part to rally Congress and the White House to come to its defense in the face of the EU's antitrust case against the company." Novak added, "It [Google] needs allies, the more prominent the better and it also wants to stave off any similar government inquiries stateside."

    For calendar year 2014, the top 8 lobbyist and amount of their Washington spending include:
    US Chamber of Commerce $124 million
    National Association of Realtors $55 million
    Blue Cross/Blue Shield $21 million
    American Hospital Association $20 million
    American Medical Association $19 million
    National Association of Broadcaster $18 million
    National Cable & Telecommunications Association $17 million

    Lobbyist spending by Google comes out as the search engine giant faces charges brought against them by the European Union who feel they demoted rivals in search results.

    According to OpenSecrets.org, 'In addition to campaign contributions to elected officials and candidates, companies, labor unions, and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington's legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house. We've got totals spent on lobbying, beginning in 1998, for everyone from AAI Corp. to Zurich Financial.'

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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