Silicon Valley cash flows to K Street

Google, Microsoft and Amazon all beefed up their lobbying spending over the last three months, new disclosure forms show.


Google was one of the tech set's biggest spenders, dropping $5.03 million between April and June, a $1.21 million hike from earlier in the year and an increase of $1.67 million from the same period in 2013.

Online advertising, patent reform, immigration and surveillance issues were all on the Silicon Valley giant’s agenda heading into the summer, according to the disclosure forms.

The spending complements a new Washington headquarters that Google opened just steps from the Capitol in recent weeks, and could be a sign of increased focus on the Beltway for the Mountain View, Calif., company. 

Microsoft, meanwhile, spent an extra $260,000 on lobbying, bringing its second quarter totals up to $2.34 million. That’s still a decrease from the $2.96 million it spent during the second quarter last year.

Amazon cracked $1 million in quarterly spending for the first time in its history, as the company put a new focus on drone regulation and postal reform. And Twitter, which is still a relative newcomer to Washington, jumped from $50,000 during the first three months of the year to $90,000.

Comcast and AT&T, which are both seeking regulatory approval to buy Time Warner Cable and DirecTV, respectively, posted bulked up expenses as well.

According to federal lobbying forms, Comcast spent $4.45 million on K Street from April to June, a $1.36 million jump from the $3.09 million it spent during the first quarter.

Despite the firm’s focus on lobbying, however, a spokeswoman for Comcast said that most of the extra expenses were due to regular trade association dues, not new lobbying, and the second quarter spending is actually less than the $5.47 million is spent at this time last year.

AT&T, for its part, spent $3.82 million on lobbying in the second quarter, an increase from the $3.67 earlier in the year and $80,000 more than this time last year.

Other tech firms’ expenses held steady, with a few companies even scaling their efforts back.

Facebook, for instance, spent $660,000 less in the second quarter, bringing expenses down to $2.12 million.

Apple spent $840,000, a $230,000 decrease from the first quarter but still an increase of $150,000 from the same time period last year.