Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld on Monday officially notified Congress it is advocating on behalf of Google Inc., becoming the 13th firm since May to list the Internet giant as a new client in a lobbying registration report.
Google announced earlier this summer that the firm would lobby on its behalf. Akin Gump is among 20 firms registered to lobby for the Mountain View, Calif., company, according to lobbying disclosure reports. Akin Gump, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Bingham McCutchen, Holland & Knight and Van Ness Feldman are the only law firms.
According to Akin Gump's lobbying registration report, the firm’s Kris Eckdahl, Francine Friedman, Christine Hesse, Scott Parven and Jamie Tucker are lobbying federal officials about Google’s business practices, which have raised competition concerns. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, has scheduled a hearing in September into whether Google is threatening competition.
A spokeswoman for Akin Gump referred inquiries to Google. Samantha Smith, a spokeswoman for Google, said last month that the lobbying is intended “to help policymakers understand our business and the work we do to keep the Internet open, to encourage innovation, and to create economic opportunity.”
Google spent $3.5 million on lobbying during the first half of 2011, according to lobbying disclosure reports.
Bingham McCutchen secured $30,000 during the reporting period that ran from April 1 to June 30 for its representation of Google on competition policy. Google gave Holland & Knight the same amount of money during that period for lobbying on competition, privacy and copyright matters. Van Ness Feldman did not report any lobbying during those months.
During the first half of 2010, the company spent $2.7 million on lobbying. Lobbyists from six outside firms reported income from Google during that time.
Van Ness Feldman and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr were the only law firms registered with Congress to lobby for the company at that time. Van Ness Feldman did not report any lobbying activity, but Wilmer Hale received $50,000 from Google during the reporting period that ran from Jan. 1, 2010, to March 31, 2010.