Google and Facebook greatly increase lobby efforts in Washington

In the second quarter of 2011 Google spent roughly $2 million on lobbying the federal (American) government; Facebook spent $320,000 during the same period. This year both Google and Facebook has drastically increased their lobbying efforts: Google has reported to have spent $3.9 million in Q2 2012 — a 90% increase over the same period last year — while Facebook has reported to have spent $960,000, a 200% increase from Q2 2011.

Why the increase? Well it could have to do with the impending change of office happening in Washington. Or it could be for other reasons. What is more important than why the increase is what the money is being spent on.

According to the records released by Google, most of its lobbying efforts were spent on the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Commerce. Primarily, Google focused on issues such as “broadband adoption and deployment”, “openness and competition in online services”, and “mobile location privacy issues”. Google also spent some dollars on the Department of Transportation pursing “autonomous vehicle technology”; you know, the cars that drive themselves which Google has been working on.

In contrast, Facebook lobbied the feds for issues such as online privacy, cybersecurity, patent reform, immigration reform, and market structure and IPO issues. I’m not sure why Facebook cares about immigration reform but the other topics are of obvious importance to Facebook.

As The Verge reports, Facebook’s lobby dollars are greater than Amazon’s $690,000 and Apple’s $470,000 while Google is inline with the likes of Verizon ($3.94 million), AT&T ($3.5 million), and Microsoft ($2 million).

[via The Verge | Image credit: jmerelo]

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5 comments

  1. JonE

    The first four posts stole all my thunder; well . . . . . almost all. My Grandma, “What big teeth you have!”

    I’ve always thought lobbying should be illegal, but that will never happen; too many of our elected representatives getting rich from it. Two Billion Dollars; $2,000,000,0000 – just say it. It rolls off the tongue; that’s a lot of pay outs. And even if it were made illegal it would still go on under the table, but then in reality a lot of does go on under the table. No wonder our reps don’t like talking about it.

    And my sentiments exactly; Google and Facebook together? What better way to steal even more data from us and share with the other what they don’t have.

  2. chuck (detailer)

    @JT: JT-You can bet they want to keep the information that they have stolen from us firmly within their control,for whatever it’s intended purposes.
    And yes,that’s how lobbying works.Simply stated,you are attempting to “buy” a Government official to do your bidding,and act in your best interest.Lobbying is just a PC term for corruption.Something our founding fathers simply did not have in mind..at least on today’s scale.It’s about as far from “for the people,by the people” as you can get.

  3. JT

    How do you spend that much in a quarter lobbying? Are those campaign donations to those who will vote for what they want, or what? I’m hoping they’re lobbying to keep our privacy, and keep government from passing anything cispa related, but I’m very skeptical about it all, especially with Verizon up there too wanting to be able to censor the internet it provides.