At The Start Of The Trump Era Facebook And Apple Spent More On Lobbying Than They Ever Have

From BuzzFeed - Tech
April 21, 2017 - 8:01am
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images As Facebook has been tinkering with brain-computer interfaces and an augmented reality camera platform, it's also been cultivating some good old fashioned Washington influence. According to federal lobbying disclosures filed Thursday, the social network set it's own all-time record high for spending in a single quarter.Facebook spent $3.2 million lobbying the federal government in the first months of the Trump era. During the same period last year, Facebook spent $2.8 million (about 15\% less). The company lobbied both chambers of Congress, the White House, and six federal agencies on issues including high-tech worker visas, network neutrality, internet privacy, encryption, and international taxation. Facebook was the twelfth highest spender out of any company and second highest in tech."Our work in Washington demonstrates our commitment to protecting the people who use our service and promoting the value of innovation to the US economy," a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "As with the first quarter last year, our expenditure shows an increase that is mainly related to the timing of stock-based compensation for a number of employees.”While Facebook's first quarter figures for 2016 were the largest for that year, that was not the case in 2015. And outside firms that lobbied on behalf of Facebook spent more money in the first quarter of 2017 than in any other period in the past two years.Apple spent $1.4 million, just $50,000 more than during the final months of the Obama presidency, when it set its previous record, but the most it has ever spent in a single quarter. Apple lobbied on issues including government requests for data, the regulation of mobile health apps, and self-driving cars.Google, once again, outspent every other technology company. It was tenth overall, tallying $3.5 million."We think it is important to have a strong voice in the debate and help policymakers understand our business and the work we do to keep the Internet open and fuel economic growth," a Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.While the search giant decreased its lobbying spending compared to this time last year, Amazon, Microsoft, and Uber all boosted their beltway budgets for the first three months of 2017.Amazon spent nearly $3 million on lobbying, behind only Facebook and

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