Google Trims 3rd Quarter Lobbying To $3.65 Million But Still Leads 16 Tech Firms; Oracle, Amazon Outlays Soar As Facebook Posts 3rd Quarter Record $2.59 Million

SANTA MONICA, CA – Google trimmed its 2015 third-quarter federal lobbying spending 7 percent to $3.65 million from $3.94 million in the comparable 2014 period, but still led lobbying expenditures among 16 technology and communications companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog.

Lobbying disclosure reports filed Tuesday with the Clerk of the House of Representatives showed that in addition to Google eight other companies tracked by the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group trimmed their spending.

Oracle, however, doubled down, increasing its lobbying expenditures 101 percent to a record $2.48 million in the third quarter of 2015, up from $1.20 million in 2014, the disclosure records showed.

Amazon posted a substantial gain as well, increasing its lobbying spending 71 percent to $2.02 million in the third quarter of 2015. It had spent $1.18 million on lobbying in the third quarter of 2014.

“Even with cutbacks by some firms the lobbying figures once again demonstrate how our democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “Washington is all about the money.”

Facebook spent $2.59 million in the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 6 percent compared to $2.45 million in 2014.  It was a record for Facebook’s third-quarter spending, but below the social network’s all-time high of $2.78 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Microsoft, which used to lead the tech lobbying expenditures, spent $1.89 million in 2015. It was an increase of 14 percent compared $1.66 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Here are the 2015 third-quarter lobbying amounts for the five other tech firms:
— Apple spent $980,000, a 3 percent decrease from $1.01 million in 2014.
— Cisco Systems spent $710,000, a 3 percent decrease from $730,00 in 2014.
— IBM spent $860,000, a 1 percent increase from $850,000 in 2014.
— Intel spent $1.06 million, a 31 percent increase from $810,000 in 2014.
— Yahoo spent $690,000, a 5 percent decrease from $730,000 in 2014.

Here are 2015 third-quarter lobbying expenditures for four telecommunications companies:
— AT&T spent $2.90 million, a 16 percent decrease from $3.47 million in 2014.
— Sprint spent $713,843, a 1 percent increase from $706,343 in 2014.
— T-Mobile spent $1.37 million, a 28 percent decrease from $1.91 million in 2014.
— Verizon spent $2.48 million, a 15 percent decrease from $2.91 million in 2014.

Here are 2015 third-quarter lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:
— Comcast spent $3.27 million, a 23 percent decrease from $4.23 million in 2014.
— Time Warner Cable spent $1.65 million, an 8 percent decrease from $1.80 million, in 2014.

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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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