Google spent $5.03 million between April and June, up $1.21 million from earlier in the year and $1.67 million from the same period last year, to lobby lawmakers in Washington, per reports. Online advertising, patent reform, immigration and surveillance issues were on the agenda.
The Mountain View, Ca. company recently opened a Washington headquarters just steps from the Capitol. Google, however, isn't the only tech firm making the investment. Microsoft spent an extra $260,000 on lobbying, bringing its second-quarter totals up to $2.34 million, per The Hill.
Company executives like Kevin Lee, Didit founder, pay close attention to where Google, Microsoft and other lobbying dollars are invested. He said trade associations like the Interactive Advertising Bureau [IAB], Direct Marketing Association [DMA] and possibly American Association of Advertising Agencies [4A's] all engage in lobbying efforts as part of their mission as trade associations to help influence laws, policy and regulations at the national and local level.
"By lobbying through trade associations, the players in the online marketing industry can pool resources, clarify their messaging and present a unified front," Lee said. "Not all players in the industry agree with the positions put forth by the larger industry trade associations, nor do all members of some trade associations agree with the majority. It makes for interesting politics."
Google reported spending $15.8 million in 2013 on lobbying, making it fifth among corporations behind Northrop Grumman, Comcast, General Electric, and AT&T, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington organization tracking money in politics. During the first three months of this year, Google spent $4.1 million, making it No. 3 among lobbying corporations.
Amazon also spends more money on lobbying. The company spent $1 million in the quarter -- the first time in its history -- as it placed a new focus on drone regulation and postal reform, per The Hill. Twitter, a relative newcomer to Washington, spent $90,000 during the quarter -- up from $50,000 during the first three months of the year.