Google Leads Tech Firms in Lobbying Expenses; Facebook Spending Up 47 Percent

WASHINGTON, DC — Google continued to lead tech firms in lobbying expenses during the third quarter, spending $3.4 million on its effort to buy influence with federal legislators and policymakers, according to disclosure forms just filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Facebook’s spending soared 47 percent to $1.4 million from $980,000 in the comparable 2012 period. Internet giant Google actually cut its spending 21 percent from $4.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. During 2012 Google was fighting an antitrust investigation of its business practices by the

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Federal Trade Commission.

Microsoft spent $2.2 million, a 20 percent increase from $1.9 million in 2012.

“Once again the lobbying disclosures demonstrate the sad truth about the state of our democracy,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “When the government is open for business, policymaking is all about who has the cash and is willing throw it around.”

Google outspent Telecommunications giant Verizon, which had lobbying costs of $3.04 million, a 2 percent decrease from $3.09 million. Verizon Wireless spent $1.2 million, up 19 per cent from $1.1 million. AT&T increased lobbying spending 23 percent from $3.5 million to $4.3 million

Other tech company third quarter lobbying expenditures as disclosed to the Clerk of the House of Representatives on Monday:

• Amazon spent $780,000, an increase of 42 percent from $550,000 in 2012
• Apple spent $970,000, an increase of 111 percent from $460,000 in 2012.
• Cisco Systems spent $890,000, an increase of 17 percent from $760,000.
• IBM spent $1.18 million, an increase of 16 percent from $1.02 million in 2012.
• Intel spent $980,000, an increase of 12 percent from $878,000.
• Oracle spent $1.36 million, a decrease of 4 percent from $1.41 million in 2012.

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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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