Google, Apple, Amazon spend record amounts on lobbying

Latest filings show increasing spending by some tech heavyweights in Washington, D.C.

Google, Apple and Amazon.com spent record amounts in the first quarter attempting to influence U.S. politicians and policy.

Google, which was already the biggest tech lobbyist in Washington, D.C., spent $5.47 million in the first three months of the year, according to a report filed with the Senate Office of Public Records.

That made it the fifth biggest federal lobbyist across all industries during the quarter, according to an analysis by Maplight.

Google has been steadily increasing the amount it spends to influence the course of policy and law on a range of issues. Since mid-2011, it has spent on average at least a million dollars each month in areas both central to its business, such as online advertising and security, and tangential to it, such as international tax reform and drone technology.

Apple spent $1.24 million in Washington in the first quarter, beating its previous record spend of $1.19 million in the fourth quarter last year. Its eight lobbyists covered areas including digital textbooks, international trade, patents and copyright, and workplace diversity.

Amazon's lobbying bill jumped to a record $1.91 million, up 14 percent on the previous quarter. Issues close to its corporate heart include data breach notifications, postal reform, cloud security and skilled immigrant workers.

Silicon Valley has been gradually finding its voice in Washington over the last few years, as regulators begin to tackle issues related to the digital economy and tech companies move into business areas that are already regulated.

But not all big tech companies spent more money last quarter.

Facebook cut its spending to $2.44 million, down 12 percent from a year earlier, and Microsoft spent $1.89 million, down 9 percent.

Blackberry spent no money at all on federal lobbying last quarter. The company, which is battling declining market share and trying to cut costs, had spent over half a million dollars in each of several recent quarters.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesamazone-commerceGooglelegislationgovernmentcloud computinginternetsearch enginesApple

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?