Google Spends $5 Million Lobbying In 2nd Quarter Leading 15 Tech, Communications Firms

Facebook Spending Up 100 Percent As Amazon Tops $1 Million For First Time

SANTA MONICA, CA — Google spent $5.03 million on lobbying in the second quarter of 2014, matching a company record and well ahead of spending by 14 other technology and communications companies, according to records just filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and analyzed today by Consumer Watchdog.

Google’s spending matched its record amount for a single quarter, which was set in the first quarter of 2012.  It was a 50 percent increase from $3.36 million in the second quarter of 2013.  Second quarter lobbying disclosure reports were due Monday night.

Facebook, which has substantially increased its Washington presence over the last two years, doubled down on its efforts to buy influence in Washington. It spent $2.12 million, an increase of 100 percent in 2014 from $1.06 million in 2013.  The amount was a slight decline from the first quarter of 2014 when the social networking giant spent $2.78 million.

“Power in Washington is all about who has the money and is willing to spend it,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “This group of powerful companies, led by Internet giant Google, is clearly willing to spend whatever the companies think necessary to buy the laws and regulations they want.”

Amazon set a company record for its spending, topping a $1 million in a quarter for the first time. Amazon spent $1.06 million in the second quarter of 2014, a 23 percent increase from $860,000 in 2013.

Google’s archrival Microsoft, which until recently had outspent Google on lobbying efforts, spent $2.34 million, a 21 percent decrease from $2.96 million in 2013.

“These lobbying 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,” noted Simpson. “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.”

Here is a link to the Clerk of the House’s Lobbying Disclosure database:

Here are the second quarter lobbying amounts for the six other tech firms:
— Apple spent $840,000 in 2014, a 22 percent increase from $690,000 million in 2013.
— Cisco spent $720,000 in 2014, a 31 percent decrease from $900,000 in 2013.
— IBM spent $1.69 million in 2014, a 10 percent decrease from $1.88 million in 2013
— Intel spent $779,000.00in 2014, a 7 percent increase from $730,000 in 2013.
— Oracle spent $1.46 million in 2014, a 12 percent decrease from $1.66 million in 2013.
— Yahoo spent $770,000 in 2014, a 7 percent increase from $720,000 in 2013.

Here are second quarter lobbying expenditures for three telecommunications companies:
— AT&T spent $3.82 million, a 2 percent increase from $3.74 million in 2013.
— Sprint spent $728,365, a 12 percent increase from $652,546 in 2013.
— Verizon spent $3.47 million, a 6 percent increase from $3.27 million in 2013

Here are lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:
— Comcast spent $4.45 million, a 19 percent decrease from $5.47 million in 2013.
— Time Warner Cable spent $1.90 million, a 4 percent decrease from $1.97 million in 2013.

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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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