Facebook spends $3.2M in first quarter

Facebook spends $3.2M in first quarter
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Facebook spent $3.2 million on federal lobbying in the first quarter of 2017, the most the company has spent over a three-month period.

Disclosure reports filed with Congress on Thursday show that Facebook and other major tech companies spent big during President Trump’s first months in office lobbying against his travel ban and on issues like taxes, immigration and privacy.

"Our work in Washington demonstrates our commitment to protecting the people who use our service and promoting the value of innovation to the U.S. economy," the company said in a Friday statement. "As with the first quarter last year, our expenditure shows an increase that is mainly related to the timing of stock-based compensation for a number of employees."

Over the same period last year, Facebook spent $2.2 million on lobbying.
In addition to their stable of in-house lobbyists, the social media giant has tapped eight outside firms to lobby on its behalf, including Steptoe & Johnson, Baker & Hostetler and Harbinger Strategies.

The Hill reported Thursday that K Street's top lobbying firms are expecting a bull market in 2017. "The potential exists for it to be a robust year for the lobbying industry," said Darrell Conner, a government affairs counselor at K&L Gates.

Apple also spent more on lobbying during the first quarter than it has over any other similar period, though the $1.4 million it spent from January through March was only slightly more than the $1.35 million it spent in the last three months of 2016.

During the first quarter of this year, Google spent $3.52 million and Microsoft spent $2.3 million.

Altogether, the four tech giants spent a total of $10.4 million on lobbying this year.

The issues they lobbied on also included intellectual property, cybersecurity and tax reform.