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EU: Google Goes on $450M “Charm Offensive”

 |  July 20, 2016

Google is using hard and soft lobbying to endear itself to Europeans while the EC continues to slap the company with antitrust complaints.

Google is running a “charm offensive” in Europe, wooing the public as it faces a growing list of antitrust objections from regulators there, The New York Times reported July 19.

The Times estimates Google’s earmarked spending for “soft lobbying,” for the time between 2015 and 2017 to be approximately $450 million. Such heart-and-minds campaigns include free digital training courses for Irish schoolteachers and a high-tech interactive art exhibition at Google’s Cultural Institute in Paris.

In 2014, Google’s spending on political lobbying in Brussels, the seat of the European Commission, reached $4.2 million, according to the report (which added that Google spent significantly more—$17 million—that same year lobbying in Washington).

By year’s end, The Times added, Google will spend another $75 million to help approximately 2 million Europeans to learn “digital skills like e-commerce and online marketing (often based on the company’s own advertising products), an important goal for European policy makers, who are trying to create a digital single market to jump-start economic growth.”

Full Content: E Week

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