Google’s 2015 Spending On Lobbying Tops $16 Million For Second Year, Leading 16 Tech And Communications Companies; Facebook, Amazon, Apple Post Records

Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Google’s 2015 Spending On Lobbying Tops $16 Million For Second Year, Leading 16 Tech And Communications Companies; Facebook, Amazon, Apple Post Records

    SANTA MONICA, CA – Google’s federal lobbying expenses in 2015 topped $16 million for the second year in a row, according to records just filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and analyzed today by Consumer Watchdog.

    Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, monitors the lobbying disclosure reports of 16 tech and communications companies. Facebook, Apple and Amazon each set corporate records for the amount they each spent.

    Google’s closest rival for spending the most money to influence federal laws and regulations in the group of 16 companies was Comcast, which reported spending $15.63 million, the records show.

    “These companies are spending millions to buy the outcomes they want,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “Policymaking is now all about big bucks, not big ideas.”

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

    Google spent $16.66 million on lobbying in 2015 compared with $16.83 million in 2014, a 1 percent decrease. Google’s fourth quarter lobbying expenditure was $3.29 million a 10 percent decrease from $3.78 million in 2014.  The lobbying disclosure reports are still being filed in Google’s name, not that of the newly created holding company, Alphabet.

    Microsoft, Google’s archrival, which used to regularly outspend the Internet giant, spent roughly half of what Google spent. Microsoft reported spending $8.49 million, a 2 percent increase from $8.33 million spent on 2014 lobbying.  Fourth quarter lobbing expenses were $2.47 million compared to $2.25 million, a 9.1 percent increase from 2014.

    Facebook, which has substantially increased its Washington presence over the last four years, posted another company record in its effort to influence policymakers.  Spending increased 5.5 percent to $9.85 million from $9.34 million in 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $2.13 million compared to $1.99 million in 2014, an increase of 7 percent.

    Amazon also posted a company record its disclosure forms show. Amazon’s reported lobbying expenditures soared 91.4 percent to $9.07 million compared to $4.74 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was $2.99 million vs. $1.67 million, an increase of 79 percent.

    Apple, too, is increasing its Washington activities. It spent $4.48 million in 2015 compared to $4.11 million in 2014, a record and a 9 percent increase from 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $1.03 million vs. $1.19 million, a 13.4 percent decrease.

    Here are the 2015 lobbying amounts for five other tech firms:

    — Cisco spent $2.69 million compared to $2.35 million in 2014, a 14.5 percent increase from 2014. Fourth quarter spending was $850,000 vs. $310,000, an increase of 174 percent.

    — IBM spent $4.63 million, a 6.5 percent decrease from $4.95 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was  $960,000 vs. $1.15 million, a decrease of 16.5 percent.

    — Intel spent $4.55 million in 2015, a 19.7 percent increase from $3.80 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was  $1.03 million vs. $980,000, an increase of 5.1 percent.

    — Oracle spent  $4.46 million, a decrease of 23.5 percent from $5.83 million in 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $1.98 million vs. $1.66 million, an increase of 19.2 percent.

    — Yahoo spent $2.84 million in 2015, a decrease of 3.4 percent from $2.94 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was $690,000 vs. $740,000, a decrease of 6.8 percent.

    Three of four telecommunications companies increased their spending on lobbying, while one decreased expenditures in 2014:

    — AT&T spent $14.86 million, a 2.1 percent increase from $14.56 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was $3.49 million vs. $3.06 million, an increase of 14.1 percent.

    — Sprint spent  $2.83 million, a 5.4 percent decrease from $2.99 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was $635,313 vs. 772,658, a decrease of 17.8 percent.

    –T-Mobile spent $6.14 million, an increase of 1.7 percent from $6.04 million in 2014. Fourth quarter spending was $1.97 million vs. $1.30 million, an increase of 51.5 percent.

    — Verizon spent $11.43 million, an increase of 1.9 percent from $11.22 million in 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $2.52 million vs. $2.97 million, a decrease of 15.2 percent.

    Here are 2015 lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:

    — Comcast spent  $15.63 million in 2015, a 7 percent decrease from $16.8 million in 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $3.94 million vs. $5.03 million, a 21.7 percent decrease.

    — Time Warner Cable spent $6.8 million in 2015, a 13.2 percent decrease from $7.83 million in 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $1.85 million vs. $2.2 million, a decrease of 15.9 percent.

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

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    This post was written by:

    John M. Simpson

    - who has written 414 posts on Inside Google.


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