When I first contacted Google for this story, a company publicist insisted I provide a list of detailed questions, in writing; when I said that I had a problem with a source dictating the terms for an interview, he claimed that everyone who covers Google -- including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal -- submits advance questions... The Google flack assured me that this was so he could find the best person for me to talk to--more information for Google, so that Google could better serve me.
Now, obviously different outlets have different policies, but Google definitely has a lot weight that allows it to dictate terms if it chooses. If you were to survey the host of important business and tech publications that comes out each month, you are likely to find Google as a cover story on at least one. Not even Apple can make that claim. As to Google's specific approach and reporter's capitalulations, I don't have the goods. But I can say that when I spoke to a Google rep, no such demand was made. Denton astutely calls the relationship between PR and journalism a game. And submitted topics, off-the-record, anonymous sources, and trading information are all equipment in that game. How it's played depends on the players.