Google Continues To Lead Pack In Federal Lobbying Expenditures As Most Tech Firms Cut Outlays; Amazon, Oracle Set New Records In Second Quarter Spending

WASHINGTON — Google trimmed its spending on federal lobbying in the second quarter of 2016 by 8.2 percent from the year before to $4.24 million, according to disclosure forms just filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, but still significantly outspent other tech and communications giants.

Google spent $4.62 million, million on federal lobbying in the second quarter of 2015 and $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Thirteen of the 16 tech and communications companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog also trimmed the lobbying expenditures in the quarter.  Three companies  increased their outlays as Amazon and Oracle set records in their efforts to influence policymakers during the second quarter.

Amazon’s spending on lobbying increased 39.5 percent to a record $3 million in the second quarter of 2016 from $2.15 million in the comparable 2015 period. Oracle spent $1.92 million in 2016, a record and 11 percent increase from $1.73 million in 2015.

“There were cutbacks, but these companies continued to spend massive amounts demonstrating how policymaking is now about who has the big bucks rather than who has the big ideas,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “These figures don’t include ‘soft-lobbying’ where companies fund think tanks and researchers to further their agendas.”

Facebook spent $2.19 million in the second quarter of 2016, a 19.7 percent decrease from $2.69 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Microsoft, which used to lead tech companies in the amount spent on lobbying, trimmed its expenditures again. It spent $2.07 million in the second quarter of 2016 compared $2.24 million in the second quarter of 2015, a 7.5 percent decrease.

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

Here are the second quarter lobbying amounts for five other tech firms:
— Apple spent $1.12 million in 2016 a 8.9 percent decrease from $1.23 million in 2015.
— Cisco spent $460,00 in 2016, a 13.2 percent decrease from $530,00 in 2015.
— IBM spent $1.52 million in 2016, a 16 percent decrease from $1.81 million in 2015.
— Intel spent  $1.07 million in 2016, a 17.1 percent decrease from $1.29 million in 2015.
— Yahoo spent $600,000 in 2016, a decrease of 18.6 percent from $730,000 in 2015.

Here are second quarter lobbying expenditures for four telecommunications companies:
— AT&T spent  $4.07 million in 2016, a 0.7 decrease from $4.10 million in 2015.
— Sprint spent $577,534 in 2016, a 22.8 percent decrease from $747,696 in 2015.
— T-Mobile spent $2.11 million in 2016, an increase of 30.2 percent rom $1.62 million in 2015.
— Verizon spent $1.83 million in 2016, a 40.6 percent decrease from $3.08 million in 2015.

Here are lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:
— Comcast spent $3.38 million in 2016, an 11.1 percent decrease from  $3.8 million in 2015.
— Time Warner Cable spent $980,000 in 2016, a 38.8 percent decrease from $1.60 million in 2015.

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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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