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“Ten of the 18 tech and communication companies we track spent more than $2 million on lobbying in the first quarter once again demonstrating how our democracy has been hijacked by big bucks serving corporate interests,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy and Technology Project director.

Facebook (FB) spent $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2018, a 2.8 percent increase from $3.21 million in the first quarter of 2017. The social networking company spent $2.78 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Microsoft, which used to lead the tech lobbying industry expenditures, remained at the $2.3 million level in 2018, the same as it was in the first quarter of 2017. That compares with $2.02 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Here are the 2018 first-quarter lobbying amounts for other tech companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog:

  • IBM spent $1.45 million an increase of 28.32 percent from $1.13 million, in 2017.
  • Intel spent $1.02 million, an increase of 2.32 percent from $996,960 in 2017.
  • Oracle spent $1.23 million, a 44.34 percent decrease from $2.21 million in 2017.
  • Twitter spent $150,000, a decrease of 11.76 percent from $170,000 in 2017.

Here are 2018 first-quarter lobbying expenditures for four other telecommunications companies:

  • Sprint spent $790,000, a 33.9 percent increase from $589,822 in 2017.
  • T-Mobile spent $2.01 million, an increase of 7.59 percent from $1.87 million, in 2017.
  • Verizon spent $2.8 million, a decrease of 2.44 percent from $2.87 million in 2017.
  • Charter Communications, a cable company, spent $2.34 million, a 15.84 percent increase from $2.02 million in 2017.

In 2018, Consumer Watchdog also started tracking Yelp and Airbnb.

  • Yelp spent $70,000 in the first quarter of 2018, which is a 46 percent decrease from the $130,000 it spent in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Airbnb filed its first lobbying disclosure report this year, and reported spending $180,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2018.

This article has been republished with permission from Value Walk. 

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