Facebook to form its own PAC to back political candidates

Facebook confirmed it filed paperwork on Monday to start its own political action committee.

"FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected," said a spokesman via email.

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The firm acknowledged the formation of the PAC after reports emerged of Facebook registering the domain names FBPAC.org and FBPAC.us. Creating a PAC is just the latest step in Facebook's continued expansion of its presence in Washington, but this is the first time the firm will back candidates.

Facebook is likely looking to avoid the type of Washington scrutiny that has affected other firms like Microsoft and Google, which is currently under a Federal Trade Commission antitrust probe. The perception Google was previously sympathetic towards Democrats hasn't helped with the GOP in charge of the House.

Facebook's lobbying spending has totalled $550,000 for fiscal 2011, a significant boost over he $350,000 spent in 2010 and $200,000 in 2009.