Google’s (GOOGL) lobbying expenditures in the first quarter of this year topped $5 million, as the Internet giant sought to influence federal policymakers on issues including online privacy, competition, online advertising and online sex-trafficking, Consumer Watchdog said Monday.
Google increased its 2018 first-quarter federal lobbying a whopping 42.6 percent, spending $5.02 million compared to $3.52 million spent in the comparable 2017 period. Among 18 major technology and communications companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog, Google spent the most on lobbying, according to mandatory disclosure reports filed Friday with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Comcast and AT&T trailed closely behind Google in their lobbying expenditures, with Comcast spending $4.24 million in the first quarter of 2018, a 14 percent increase from the $3.72 million spent in the first quarter of 2017, and AT&T spending $4.12 million.
Among the 18 companies Consumer Watchdog tracked, Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Apple (AAPL) had the biggest percentage increases in their lobbying expenditures in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. Cisco Systems increased its lobbying expenditures by almost 90 percent, from $390,000 to $740,000. Apple increased its spending by 52.3 percent, moving from spending $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $2.14 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Tech Giants Release Lobbying Disclosure Reports
Lobbying disclosure reports filed last week with the Clerk of the House showed that seven other companies tracked by the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group increased their lobbying spending.
Amazon (AMZN) spending soared 16.6 percent to $3.38 million in 2018 from $2.9 million in 2017. It spent $2.65 million in the first quarter of 2016. Amazon has nearly tripled its first quarter lobbying outlays since 2014 when it spent $1.18 million.