(via FastCompany)

Google spent $5.03 million lobbying in Washington last quarter.

According to the company’s lobbying report (PDF), the search engine’s lobbying efforts focused on the regulation of Web-based privacy, advertising, and competition, including International tax reform.

CNET’s Lance Whitney explained that Google only spent $3.76 million lobbying in Q4 2011 and $1.48 million Q1 2011, but attributed the recent surge in expenses mainly to one Congressional bill:

The search giant devoted lobby dollars to H.R. 1389 – Global Online Freedom Act of 2011, a Congressional bill designed to prevent U.S. companies from cooperating with repressive foreign governments in using the Internet for censorship and surveillance. Google has of course squared off in the past with China over the censorship of its search results.

The company lobbied for H.Con.Res. 114, a bill ‘expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should preserve, enhance, and increase access to an open, global Internet.’

It is worth noting that Apple only spent $500,000 lobbying last quarter.