Google, Apple, and all the other tech giants have a vested interest in many of the decisions coming out of Washington, DC.
Whether it’s how immigration policy will affect the pool of talent HR can pick from, or laws on data and privacy, the rulings coming out of the Capitol can have a huge impact on the tech world.
And so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these companies are spending lots of money on lobbying efforts.
According to Consumer Watchdog, Google led the way, spending a whopping $US5.03 million on lobbying in the second quarter of 2014. In comparison, Microsoft spent $US2.34 million, Facebook spent $US2.12 million, Amazon spent $US1.06 million, and Apple spent $US840,000.
What’s really interesting, though, is to look at where this money is going.
Recently, Google has been working really hard to fight bans on Google Glass. According to Reuters, the company has been lobbying officials in at least three states to prevent restrictions on wearing the device while driving.
Google has also focused its money on issues like healthcare, patent reform, consumer privacy issues, government surveillance, and telecom policy, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And while Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the richest people in the country to not make any political contributions, their company sure is spending a lot in DC. Google gives money to almost 140 business trade groups, advocacy organisations and think tanks, according to The Washington Post. This reportedly came in handy when the company was facing issues with the FTC antitrust investigation into its dominance in search.
Facebook got an earlier start at lobbying than Google, having had staff in Washington since 2007. The giant social network giant tends to focus its energies on net neutrality, online privacy (especially for children), immigration reform, and national security. Immigration reform has been particularly important to Mark Zuckerberg leading to his creation of FWD.us.
Microsoft has its own PAC fund from which it donates to many political campaigns. It tends to focus on areas like immigration, taxes, patents, and telecommunications.
Amazon spends its money on issues like internet sales taxes, telecom regulations, copyright law, consumer safety, and law enforcement.
Apple has been more on the down-low when it comes to lobbying, but it is expected to increase its efforts with the FDA and healthcare issues now that it’s coming out with HealthKit this fall, in time for the release of iOS 8 and its health-oriented wristband.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.