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Google touts its economic impact amid increased scrutiny

Google said Tuesday that the search goliath generated $54 billion in economic activity in the United States last year, including $254 million for the District.

The company released its state-by-state report to show that the company isn't the only one benefiting from the ubiquitous search engine business.

The report comes amid increased scrutiny of Google by federal regulators and lawmakers who have looked more closely at how the company's 65 percent dominance in the search market can affect mobile and Internet competitors. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission approved Google's purchase of AdMob, saying the deal to merge two mobile advertising platforms raised antitrust concerns but that Apple's entry into the cellphone ad market made the industry more competitive.

Google has also attracted privacy complaints in the United States and Europe for scarfing up personal user data on WiFi networks through its Street View application.

"In a time of tighter budgets and a slow economic recovery, we’re glad to support so many small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country by helping them find new customers more efficiently and monetize their websites through targeted advertising," the company wrote in a blog post.

Here's how Google came up with its numbers:

Google tallied advertising revenue from advertisers and Web site publishers who use the company's AdSense and AdWords programs. The assumption made here was that for every $1 spent on AdWords, a business generates $2 in revenue -- or a net profit of $1.

Google also included money generated for third-party online publishers through the ads it places on those sites and business generated from the free advertising it gives to nonprofit groups.

By Cecilia Kang  |  May 25, 2010; 9:58 AM ET
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