Google has brought on a small handful of lobbying firms as the company’s various business lines come under scrutiny from federal, state and local officials. On Monday, it was revealed that the company had hired GOP lobbyists Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC.
The news comes on the heels of other disclosures showing that the company had hired Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid as well as Franklin Square to lobby for experimental laboratory Google X. As CivSource recently reported, Google X is working with telecommunications companies to restore internet service in Puerto Rico using its balloon-powered wifi service Project Loon.
Google joins several other Silicon Valley megacompanies in bringing on lobbyists as lawmakers start to consider a growing list of regulations and investigations into the business practices of tech’s biggest names. Google was most recently in the news for how it weighted certain uncredible news results during the last election cycle. In some cases, heavily slanted or completely false items were listed at the top of news and search results. Other regulatory actions being considered would hold Google and other search companies at least partially responsible for listing sex trafficking websites in search results.
Google’s lobbying efforts are also set against a backdrop of new legislation introduced on Thursday and sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, and John McCain. The “Honest Act” would require tech companies to disclose who paid for political ads on their platforms. The bill would bring tech companies under a similar regulatory umbrella to TV and radio which have disclosure requirements for political ads. Online advertisement has been exempted from disclosure regulations since 2006.