Google Forked Out A Whopping $16 Million On Govt Lobbying Last Year

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Google has once again proved it is Silicon Valley's biggest lobbying spender, splashing out more than $16m (£11.2m) for the second year running in its attempts to bend the ear of government.

The data is from records for 2015 analysed by non-profit group Consumer Watch, which monitors the lobbying activities of Silicon Valley's 16 biggest tech and comms giants.

Back in 2014 Google set a record amount of lobbying spend, increasing its year-on-year splurge by 20 per cent – the most it has ever put up in a single calendar year.

It seems the Chocolate Factory is happy to sustain that level of cash in exchange for influencing federal laws and regulation.

Google’s closest rival for lobbying spend was Comcast, which recorded a spend of $15.6m (£11m).

John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director, said: “These companies are spending millions to buy the outcomes they want." He added: “Policymaking is now all about big bucks, not big ideas.”

The body noted Facebook has also "substantially" increased its Washington presence over the last four years, with spending up 5.5 per cent to $9.9m (£6.9m)

Meanwhile Amazon’s reported lobbying expenditures soared 91.4 per cent to $9.1m (£6.4m). Apple's overall spend was more modest at $4.5m (£3.1m), up 9 per cent. Microsoft reported spending $8.5m (£5.6m), a 2 percent increase.

Oracle was the only biz to significantly decrease spend, with its funds dropping 23.5 per cent to $4.5m (£3.2m).

Other companies included: Cisco, which increased spend by 14.5 per cent to $2.7m (£1.9m); IBM, which spend 6.5 per cent less to $4.6m (£3.2m) and Intel, which increased funds by 19.7 per cent to $4.6m (£3.2m).

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