Google Spends Record $16.83 Million On 2014 Lobbying; Facebook, Amazon, Apple Also Post Records

Jan 22, 2015

Google spent a record $16.83 million on lobbying in its efforts to influence federal regulators and lawmakers in 2014, just ahead of Comcast's reported $16.80 million, according to records filed with the Clerk of the House and analyzed by Consumer Watchdog. With Net Neutrality on the docket, it is no surprise that these companies would step up their presence on Capitol Hill. 

Facebook, Apple, and Amazon also set corporate records for the amount they each spent.  Fifteen tech and communications companies spent a total of $116.62 million on lobbying in 2014, a 3 percent decrease from a total of  $120.28 million in 2013.  Six of the 15 companies increased their 2014 spending, while the rest cut back from 2013 levels.

Google spent $16.83 million on lobbying in 2014 compared with $14.06 million in 2013, a 20% increase. Google's fourth quarter lobbying expenditure was $3.78 million, a decrease of 5% from $3.98 million, in 2013.

Microsoft, which used to regularly outspend Google, spent roughly half of what Google spent. Microsoft reported spending $8.33 million, a decrease of 20% from $10.49 million spent on 2013 lobbying. Fourth quarter lobbying expenses were  $2.25 million compared to a $2.77 million, a 19% decrease from 2013.

Facebook, which has substantially increased its Washington presence over the last three years, posted another company record.  Spending soared 45% to $9.34 million from $6.43 million in 2013.  Fourth quarter spending was $1.99 million compared to $1.48 million, an increase of 39%.

Amazon also posted a company record its disclosure forms show. It reported lobbying expenditures of $4.74 million, a 37% increase from $3.46 million in 2013. Fourth quarter spending was $1.67 million vs. $960,000, an increase of 74%.

Apple, too, is increasing its Washington activities. It spent $4.11 million in 2014, a record and a 22% increase from $3.37 million spent in 2013.  Fourth quarter spending was $1.19 million vs. $990,000 a 20 percent increase.