What single company lobbies the European Commission most? Google.

EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO

A snapshot from the Google I/O developers conference at Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, California, USA, 15 May 2013.

What single company lobbies the European Commission most? Google.


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Google is the company that has lobbied the European Commission most in the last fourteen months, holding 22 meetings with nine Commissioners (including three Vice-Presidents), five Directors-General, and the Secretary-General of the European Commission. Google is only beaten at the lobbying game by BUSINESSEUROPE, the Confederation of European business comprised of 40 national industry and employers’ organizations.

Lobbying in the capital of Europe, Brussels, is only surpassed by the dog-eat-dog arena of Washington DC. For this report, New Europe used Transparency International’s EU Integrity Watch tool, a tool which aggregates lobbying data from the European Institutions and makes it available in a very reader-friendly format.

The data for Google shows that it is the number one company to lobby the European Commission in terms of volume. With critics arguing that Google enjoys more support than just its corporate weight carries, the numbers are quite disconcerting. The EU, has not pulled any punches when it comes to its investigations of large multinationals, particularly in the Competition domain. Yet more recently, the European Commission said it was considering how to respond to a letter of complaint about Google’s £130m tax deal with the UK.

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Google’s 9 lobbyists have held 67 meetings in the last 14 months with the European Commission, on topics that range from agriculture, to cultural initiatives, to the Euro currency. These include meetings with the First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, three Vice-Presidents (Andrus Ansip, Jyrki Katainen, Valdis Dombrovskis) and ten meeting with six Commissioners (Pierre Moscovici, Věra Jourová, Cecilia Malmström, Günther Oettinger, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Carlos Moedas). In addition, in the last 15 months, Google also held seven meetings with Directors-General, and even a meeting with the European Commission’s Secretary-General, Alexander Italianer.

 

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Below is a table with all the lobby meetings Google has held with the European Commission since December 2014.

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