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AT&T, Google 3rd Quarter Lobbying Expenditures to Shape Policy Top $4 Million Each

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 20:38

SANTA MONICA, CA – AT&T and Google third-quarter lobbying expenditures this year both topped $4 million with the telecommunications conglomerate barely edging out the Internet giant for having spent the most money in the period to influence federal policymakers, Consumer Watchdog said today.

AT&T barely kept the lead as its 2017 third quarter expenses increased to $4.43 million from $4.11 million, an 8 percent increase from the third quarter of 2016, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed Friday with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Google increased its 2017 third-quarter federal lobbying spending 9 percent to $4.17million from $3.81 million in the comparable 2016 period, but remained in second place in lobbying expenditures among 16 technology and communications companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog.

But in the second quarter Google outspent AT&T by nearly a million dollars, spending $5.03 million to AT&T’s $4.16 million, according to disclosure forms.

Lobbying disclosure reports filed last week with the Clerk of the House of Representatives showed that in addition to Google and AT&T, eight other companies tracked by the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group increased their lobbying spending.

View the lobbying disclosure forms here: http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldsearch.aspx

Oracle spending soared. It increased its lobbying expenditures by 90 percent to $3.82 million in 2017 from $2.01 million in 2016. In 2015 Oracle spent $2.48 million in the third quarter, the disclosure records showed.  

Amazon spending also skyrocketed. It increased its lobbying spending 26 percent to $3.41 million in 2017 from $2.71 million in 2016. It spent $2.02 million in the third quarter of 2015. Amazon has nearly tripled its third quarter lobbying outlays since 2014 when it spent $1.18 million.

“Half of the 16 tech and communication companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog spent more than $2 million on lobbying in the third quarter once again demonstrating how our democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “Trump said he wanted to drain the swamp; but Washington is still all about the money.”

Facebook spent $2.85 million in the third quarter of 2017, a 30 percent increase from $2.20 million in the third quarter of 2016. The social networking company spent $2.59 million in 2015.

Microsoft, which used to lead the tech lobbying industry expenditures, dropped below the $2 million level in the third quarter of 2017. It spent $1.95 million, a decrease of 12 percent from $2.22 million in 2016. That compares with $1.89 million in the third quarter of 2015.

Here are the 2017 third-quarter lobbying amounts for the five other tech firms tracked by Consumer Watchdog:

-- Apple spent $1.86 million, a 74 percent increase from $1.07 million, in 2016. 
-- Cisco Systems spent $620,000 a decrease of 3 percent from $640,000 in 2016. 
-- IBM spent $770,000, a decrease of 8 percent from $870,000, in 2016.
-- Intel spent $890,000, an increase of 2 percent from $870,925 in 2016. 
-- Twitter spent $120,000, a decrease of 29 percent from $170,000 in 2016

Here are 2016 third-quarter lobbying expenditures for three other telecommunications companies:

-- Sprint spent $571,221, a 1 percent decrease from $574,424 in 2016. 
-- T-Mobile spent $2.35 million an increase of 8 percent from $2.17 million, in 2016.
-- Verizon spent $2.2 million an increase of 1 percent from $2.18 million in 2016.

Consumer Watchdog used to track Yahoo’s lobbing spending, which was $600,000 in the third quarter of 2016. It has been bought by Verizon and no longer files a separate report.

Here are 2016 third-quarter lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:

-- Comcast spent $3.51 million, a 3 percent increase from $3.41 million in 2016.
-- Charter Communications spent $1.88 million, a 6 percent decrease from $1.99 million in 2016.

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Visit our website at www.consumerwatchdog.org