Battling antitrust investigations and pressure from Capitol Hill, Google has once again ramped up lobbying expenditures, topping out at $2.38 million in the third quarter, according to the latest disclosures. The tech giant's Washington presence has grown over the past year. Google's third-quarter spending a year ago was $1.2 million. ...Facebook is also under increased scrutiny, especially on privacy issues. It has hired a batch of new people to stock its Washington and advocacy offices. Its latest spending of $360,000 is low compared to other tech giants, but is more than double than year ago.AT&T continues to drop the big bucks in its quest to get its merger with T-Mobile approved. Even as the process entered the court system, AT&T spent $4.3 million from July to Oct. 20. T-Mobile shelled out $1.07 million, and Sprint, which is vigorously fighting the merger, spent just over $1 million.Verizon also remains a big spender. Despite staying on the sidelines of the merger fight and avoiding major federal scrutiny, the telecom giant spent more than $3.2 million in the third quarter, down from last quarter's $4.38 million. ...Microsoft spent $1.88 million in the third quarter.
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