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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesamazone-commerceGooglelegislationgovernmentcloud computinginternetsearch enginesApple

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?