The largest tech companies in the US have been spending near-record amounts on lobbying lawmakers in the first quarter of this year, recent data shows.
According to BI Intelligence’s chart below, based on data from OpenSecrets.org and Bloomberg, Google leads the pack among companies in the “computers/Internet” category with $US5.47 million spent on federal lobbying in the first three months of 2015. That’s more than it’s spent in any other first quarter, and near the record $US5.5 million it spent in the second quarter of 2014. Google may have bigger lobbying years ahead as it ramps up its efforts to fight the EU’s recent antitrust charges that could potentially cost more than $US6 billion.
Facebook spent $US2.44 million, a slight drop from last year’s $US2.7 million, but still large enough to rank as the fourth biggest lobbying quarter in company history. Amazon spent $US1.9 billion in the first quarter, which is double the amount it spent in any other first quarter. Microsoft’s $US1.9 million was its lowest first quarter spend since 2012.
Apple, meanwhile, spent $US1.24 million during the quarter, a slight increase from last year’s $US1.07 million. Bloomberg said the money was spent on taxation and consumer privacy, as well as “issues related to mobile payments.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.