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How The Web Giants Make Friends And Influence People

By James Thomson

Big companies like to throw their weight around now and then, and Google and Yahoo are no exception, with reports revealing they spent a combined $US1.36 million on lobbying last quarter.

And thanks to US disclosure laws, we now have a bit of an idea of the issues that are at the top of their agenda — in the US anyway.

According to Search Engine Journal, Google spent $730,000 on changes including:

  • Getting regulatory agreement to allow it to serve advertising on the Yahoo network.
  • Net neutrality rules.
  • Laws to map the spread of high-speed broadband across the US and pushing to make it illegal for US internet hosts to give users’ personal information to governments that restrict internet access.

As for Yahoo, it spent $US630,000 on, among other things:

  • Urging a crackdown on spyware and phishing scams.
  • Backing law changes to require registered sex offenders to supply their email addresses.
  • Arguing that an administrative ruling that dramatically increased the royalties internet radio stations pay to artists and record labels should be overturned.

What do you think? Are these figures extraordinary, or just part of doing business?

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