Google posts largest lobbying quarter to date

Google posts largest lobbying quarter to date
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Google racked up a nearly $5.5 million lobbying tab in the first three months of the new Congress, its largest lobbying quarter to date. 

The search giant regularly posts the largest lobbying numbers among technology companies. It spent more on influence in 2014 than any other computer or Internet company. It continued that trend in the first quarter of the new Congress, in which Republicans now control both chambers. 

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Its lobbying touched on nearly every major issue facing the technology sector, from email privacy and surveillance reform to immigration, cybersecurity, trade and patents. In all, the company listed about 50 issues on which it lobbied. 

Less-conventional issues included lobbying on wind power, autonomous vehicle technology and drone technology. 

The $5.47 million lobbying quarter is $1.65 million more than Google's amount at this time last year. The only comparable previous first quarter filing came in 2012, when it posted just over $5 million. 

Facebook ranked second in the first quarter with $2.4 million going toward lobbying, a slight drop from this time last year. Amazon posted a $1.9 million quarter, a boost of more than $1 million since the first quarter of 2014. Microsoft spent $1.89 million, a slight drop. 

Other tech companies that spent more than $1 million on lobbying in the first quarter included Oracle, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Apple and IBM.

Early filing reports by technology trade groups showed a slight drop-off in lobbying compared to the same period last year. That trend held for a number of other large tech companies with the exception of Google, Amazon and Apple. 

Among service providers, Comcast spent $4.6 million, while AT&T spent $4.3 million — both numbers were a jump from this time last year. Verizon spent $3.35 million, on track with last year’s first-quarter filing.