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Google plans to tout contributions to state and national economy

May 24, 2010 |  2:33 pm

Google Inc., the world’s most popular search engine, plans to tout its role as a major economic engine in California and across the country.

Galen Panger, a member of Google’s public policy communications team, said executives would fan out to 11 events with state and local lawmakers Tuesday to make a "major announcement."

No question that Google has a huge effect on the national economy. It has also been a boon to small businesses that use its products to get noticed and to get customers. 

Critics suspect other motives. The Internet giant, though beloved by consumers, has come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators and privacy watchdogs that have begun to consider it a bit like a Web 2.0 version of Microsoft. Two recent developments did not help Google: missteps with social networking service Buzz and collection of private data over WiFi networks.

By emphasizing job growth and economic development, Google may be trying to assuage fears on Capitol Hill about its monster dominance in online advertising and growing heft in other businesses.

-- Jessica Guynn 

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