Will Comcast's political ties help it earn regulatory approval for its purchase of Time Warner Cable? It can't hurt.
Google spent 14.7 percent less to lobby Washington last year, but the $14 million it spent was still more than any other tech firm, according to a Consumer Watchdog analysis of lobby records filed with the Clerk of the House on Monday.
It's a truism on Capitol Hill: Big Internet continues to shell out big bucks to lobby the halls of Congress. Stepping up its influence game, Facebook increased lobby spending by 277 percent in the first quarter to $2.45 million, according to public disclosure files. The first-quarter spending is more than half of what Facebook spent for all of 2012.
Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg formally launched his advocacy group today. Called FWD.us (think Forward U.S.), the group, as expected, is starting right out of the box with a push for immigration reform.
If you're Mark Zuckerberg and you've already created the biggest social network of all time by the time you're 28, what's next? Try politics. Washington is buzzing about a new lobbying organization organized by the Facebook CEO to take on issues, like immigration reform and education, that could help tech companies like Facebook find more talent and remain competitive.
When it comes to big tech spenders in Washington, no one tops Google. This third quarter, the Internet giant shelled out $4.18 million to influence political decision-makers in a 76 percent increase over last year during the same period. So far in 2012, Google has spent $13.13 million to influence political decision-makers, already topping the 2011 total of $9.68 million.
Under scrutiny by regulators in both the U.S. and Europe for its privacy and business practices, it's not surprising that Google continues to lead the tech lobby pack when it comes to spending. The company shelled out nearly $4 million in second quarter, according to congressional lobbying disclosure reports.