Google spent $3.82 million lobbying the USA's federal lawmakers and regulators during the first quarter of 2014 making it the top spender among 15 top technology and telecommunications companies according to an analysis of lobbying disclosure forms Consumer Watchdog said today.
According to lobbying disclosure forms filed this week, Comcast, which is seeking approval for a $45.2 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable, spent $3.09 million lobbying politicians during the first quarter of 2014.
Traditionally telecommunications giants like Verizon and AT&T have outspent Google, though the Internet giant has led the tech industry. However in the first quarter of 2014 Verizon spent $3.55 million and AT&T spent $3.67 million, falling behind Google, Consumer Watchdog found.
"These companies continue to spend whatever they think necessary to buy the laws and regulations they want," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project Director. "These 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. When all that is factored in, the amounts are staggering."
Google's archrival Microsoft, which until recently had outspent Google, spent $2.08 million, a 17.8 percent decrease from $2.53 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 increased 13.5 percent to $2.78 million in 2014 from $2.45 million in 2013.
For the first time in its history Apple's spending for a quarter topped $1 million. It was $1.07 million in 2014, a 48.6 percent increase from $720,000 million in 2013.
Here are the lobbying amounts for the six other tech firms:
- Amazon spent $830,000.00 in the first quarter of 2014, a 3.1 percent decrease from $856,831 in 2013.
- Cisco spent $590,000 in 2014, an18.1 percent decrease from $720,000l in 2014.
- IBM spent $1.26 million in 2014, a 7.3 percent decrease from $1.36 million in 2013
- Intel spent $1.23 million in 2014, a 10.8 percent increase from $1.11 million in 2013.
- Oracle spent $1.51 million, a 10.2 percent increase from $1.37 million in 2013.
- Yahoo spent $710,000 in 2014, a 1.4 percent decrease from $720,000 in 2013.
Here are lobbying expenditures for three telecommunications companies:
- AT&T spent $3.67 million, a 13.8 percent decrease from $4.26 million in 2013.
- Sprint spent $784,707, a 17.7 percent increase from $666,558 in 2014.
- Verizon spent $3.55 million, a 3.3 decrease percent from $3.67 million in 2014.
Here are lobbying expenditures for two cable companies:
- Comcast spent $3.09 million, a 31percent decrease from $4.48 million in 2013.
- Time Warner Cable spent $1.93 million, a 3.2 increase from $1.87 million in 2014.