Google Leads Pack As 10 Tech Firms Pump $61.15 Million Into Lobbying Efforts

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Google led in lobbying spending in the USA by ten tech firms who pumped a combined $61.15 million into efforts to influence regulators and politicians in 2013 up 15.9 percent from a combined total of $52.78 million according to records filed with the Clerk of the House this week.

Consumer Watchdog, a public interest group, analyzed the spending records.

"Policymaking in Washington is all about how much money you can throw around," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project Director. "These tech guys are increasingly willing to spend whatever it takes to buy what they want."

Google spent $14.06 million on lobbying in 2013, a 14.7 percent decrease from 2012 when it was the target of an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The Internet giant outspent the second highest spending company on the list, archrival Microsoft, by $3.570 million. Google's fourth quarter lobbying expenditure was $3.98 million, an increase of 20.3 percent from $3.35 million in 2012.

Microsoft spent $10.49 million on 2013 lobbying, up 29.7 percent from $8.09 million in 2012. Fourth quarter lobbing expenses were $2.77 million, a 13.9 percent increase from $2.43 million.

Facebook, which has substantially increased in its Washington presence over the last two years, set another company record in its effort to buy influence in Washington. Spending soared 61.2 percent to $6.43 million in 2013 from $3.99 million in 2012. Fourth quarter spending was $1.48 million compared to $1.40 million, an increase of 0.6 percent.

Telecommunications companies continued spending large amounts on lobbying in 2013:

  • AT&T spent $15. 94 million, an 8.8 percent decrease from $17.47 million in 2012. Fourth quarter spending was $3.64 million vs. $3.44 million, an increase of 5.7 percent.
  • Sprint spent $2.75 million, an increase of 8.2 percent from $2.55 million in 2012. Fourth quarter spending was $716,887 vs. $637,308, an increase of 12.4 percent.
  • Verizon spent $13.44 million, a decrease of 10.5 percent from $15.02 million in 2012.  Fourth quarter spending was $3.46 million vs. $3.48, an increase of 0.5 percent.

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