Google Again Tops Tech Spending on Lobbying

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Google’s spending on lobbying dropped in 2013, but it is still lavishing Washington with more money than any other tech company.

The search giant spent $14.1 million to help influence lawmakers and regulators last year, according to data published on

That was down after its 2012 spending spiked to $16.5 million when the company faced an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

Google’s biggest issues in 2013 were reforming both patent laws as well as government surveillance in the wake of disclosures by Edward Snowden, its lobbying documents show.

“Technology issues are a big part of the current policy discussion in Washington. We think it is important to be part of that discussion,” said a Google spokeswoman.

Microsoft placed second, spending $10.5 million in 2013 up from $8 million in 2012.

Some of the most impressive growth came from Facebook. The social network’s spending of $6.4 million was up 61% from 2012.

The social network’s spending had previously passed large tech companies like Apple, Amazon and Intel. In 2013, it also surpassed Oracle, leaving only IBM, Microsoft and Google ahead of it.

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

Based on the data, Consumer Watchdog calculates the following amounts were spent by other tech companies on lobbying in 2013:

  • IBM spent $7 million, up 46%.
  • Oracle spent $6 million, up 4%.
  • Intel spent $4.4 million, up 18%.
  • spent $3.5 million, up 38%.
  • Apple spent $3.4 million, up 72%.
  • Cisco Systems spent 3.1 million, up 16%.
  • Yahoo spent $2.8 million, up 1%.

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