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Google Hires Fortunate Son

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-03-21

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The honeymoon's over when you have to plant somebody in D.C. on your behalf. As dewy-eyed and dreamy as Google seemed in the beginning, the search giant learned how to play hardball real quick, hiring a lobbying firm with a direct line to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Google hired the firm PodestaMattoon, whose team of D.C. lobbyists includes none other than Joshua Hastert, the son of U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill).

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that this isn't the first lobbying firm Google has hired, they've had others in the past. But, the hiring of this firm is newsworthy for obvious reasons.

Google needs a little help in Congress these days as just about every new venture the company has tried has been met with serious public and governmental scrutiny.

Just in the past year, Google has been slapped with copyright lawsuits, flamed over its dealings with China, grilled over its potential to impact user privacy, and subpoenaed by the Department of Justice for user data.

The next pressing issue will be over net-neutrality. Having a strong team of lobbyists can only help things at the Googleplex as it prepares to butt heads with major telecommunications companies, who want greater control over the network.

Companies like Verizon and AT&T, among others, have put pressure on Google to share the cost of bandwidth and high-speed access. Google's been less than warm in their response to the telecoms.

Having a lobbyist who has a direct line to the most powerful man in Congress (third in line for President) can't hurt Google's pull in the legislature. And those that are champions for net-neutrality will cheer on their efforts.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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