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Microsoft a giant in lobbying

November 12, 2008|The Associated Press

The most recent federal disclosure forms offer a stark reminder of Microsoft Corp.'s mighty Washington presence: The software giant's lobbying tab of almost $2 million for the third quarter alone nearly equaled the amount that rival Google Inc. spent in the first nine months of the year.

But Google already has spent more on lobbying this year than it did for all of 2007 as the Internet search company starts to emerge as a formidable player in D.C. lobbying.

Both companies put their lobbying muscle on full display this year as they battled over Google's plans to sell some of the online ads that appear alongside search results on Yahoo Inc.'s website. Google and Yahoo entered into the partnership in an effort to keep Yahoo out of Microsoft's hands.

But Google walked away from the deal last week in the face of an antitrust challenge being prepared by the Justice Department. That retreat was a key victory for Microsoft, which had mounted a major lobbying and public relations offensive to persuade the government to block the deal.

It's unclear whether the outcome would have been different without Microsoft, as it wasn't alone in opposing the deal.

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