Facebook has had staff in Washington since 2007, but it plans to up its lobbying spend and hiring this year, the LA Times reports.Facebook spent $351,390 on lobbying last year, to Google‘s $5.2 million and Microsoft‘s $6.9 million, and has only 2 registered lobbyists on staff to Google’s 11 and Microsoft’s 16.
Also worth noting is that Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg was chief of staff to Larry Summers when he was Secretary of the Treasury and Facebook’s General Counsel previously worked in the Bush Administration.
But Facebook is planning on ramping up that effort, which makes sense. Facebook is constantly under fire from privacy activists and as it grows bigger it will inevitably attract attention from Congress and regulators. Already Congress got itself into a tizzy when Facebook changed its privacy settings last year.
The funny thing, of course, is that even though Facebook has a small lobbying presence, basically every single politician in Washington (or at least their staff) uses Facebook every day to reach out to constituents and campaign.
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