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. But regulatory probes of its business practices and criticism over privacy have put the company on the defensive.
Anne Toth, who left Yahoo’s privacy shop last week, has said that she is headed to Google, joining a growing staff to deal with the controversial issue.
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.
A year ago, when Verizon was fighting federal net neutrality proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission, it spent $3.8 million. Disclosures show that the company has lobbied on practically every tech issue before Congress, from cybersecurity to spectrum legislation.
Microsoft spent $1.88 million in the third quarter.