Google Spent $3.82 Million Lobbying In First Quarter As Internet Giant Is Top Spender Among 15 Tech, Telecommunication Firms; Comcast Spends $3.09 Million On Influence

WASHINGTON, DC – Google spent $3.82 million lobbying federal lawmakers and regulators during the first quarter of 2014, making it the top spender among 15 top technology and telecommunications companies, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosure forms Consumer Watchdog said today.

According to lobbying disclosure forms filed this week, Comcast, which is seeking approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, for a $45.2 billion deal to buy Time

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Warner Cable, spent $3.09 million trying to buy influence during the first quarter of 2014.

Traditionally telecommunications giants like Verizon and AT&T have outspent Google, though the Internet giant has led the tech industry. However in the first quarter of 2014 Verizon spent $3.55 million and AT&T spent $3.67 million, falling behind Google, Consumer Watchdog found.

“These companies continue to spend whatever they think necessary to buy the laws and regulations they want,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “These disclosure statements don’t include payments to trade associations or the sort of ‘soft’ lobbying that has become a Google trademark – funds to think tanks and academic research centers. When all that is factored in, the amounts are staggering. Policy making is no longer about what’s right; it’s all about the money.”

Google spent $3.82 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2013, a 14 percent increase from $3.35 million in the comparable 2013 period, according to records filed with the Clerk of the House of Representative.

Google’s archrival Microsoft, which until recently had outspent Google, spent $2.08 million, a 17.8 percent decrease from $2.53 million.

Facebook, which has substantially increased in its Washington presence over the last two years, set another company record in its effort to buy influence in Washington. Spending increased 13.5 percent to $2.78 million in 2014 from $2.45 million in 2013.

For the first time in its history Apple’s spending for a quarter topped $1 million. It was $1.07 million in 2014, a 48.6 percent increase from $720,000 million in 2013.

Here is a link to the Clerk of the House’s Lobbying Disclosure database: http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldsearch.aspx

Here are the lobbying amounts for the six other tech firms:

— Amazon spent $830,000.00 in the first quarter of 2014, a 3.1 percent decrease from $856,831 in 2013.
— Cisco spent $590,000 in 2014, an18.1 percent decrease from $720,000l in 2014.
— IBM spent $1.26 million in 2014, a 7.3 percent decrease from $1.36 million in 2013
— Intel spent $1.23 million in 2014, a 10.8 percent increase from $1.11 million in 2013.
— Oracle spent $1.51 million, a 10.2 percent increase from $1.37 million in 2013.
— Yahoo spent $710,000 in 2014, a 1.4 percent decrease from $720,000 in 2013.

Here are lobbying expenditures for three telecommunications companies:
— AT&T spent $3.67 million, a 13.8 percent decrease from $4.26 million in 2013.
— Sprint spent $784,707, a 17.7 percent increase from $666,558 in 2014.
— Verizon spent $3.55 million, a 3.3 decrease percent from $3.67 million in 2014.

Here are lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:
— Comcast spent $3.09 million, a 31percent decrease from $4.48 million in 2013.
— Time Warner Cable spent $1.93 million, a 3.2 increase from $1.87 million in 2014.

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Visit Consumer Watchdog’s website at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

Published by John M. Simpson

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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