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Tech

Facebook Hits Own Lobbying Spending Record

July 23, 2012

Facebook and Google both hit new records for spending on lobbying in the second quarter as the tech giants continue to increase their Washington footprint.

Facebook spent an all-time high $960,000 in the second quarter of 2012, $300,000 more than was spent in the first quarter and three times as much as the $320,000 spent in the second quarter last year. The social network has upped its lobbying efforts amid scrutiny of its privacy policies, as well as increased efforts to use the website for government and political services.

Google, whose spending now rivals more entrenched powerhouses like Verizon and Comcast, spent $3.9 million in the second quarter. That's nearly twice as much as was spent in the same period last year, but not as much as the $5 million spent during the months of 2012 when Google was lobbying hard on antipiracy legislation, as well as hitting back over privacy and antitrust concerns.

Apple spent a relatively paltry $470,000 in the second quarter, down from the $790,000 spent during the second quarter of 2011.

Verizon, which is fighting for regulatory approval of a spectrum deal with a consortium of cable companies, spent nearly $5 million in the second quarter. The cable companies involved spent millions as well, including nearly $4 million from Comcast and $1.9 million from Time Warner Cable.

AT&T, long a big spender on lobbying, reported spending about $3.5 million, down from more than $7 million in the first quarter of 2012.

From cable to Internet, all the companies reported lobbying on a range of tech issues, from online piracy and cybersecurity to privacy and Federal Communications Commission reform.

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