Facebook and Google are spending big on political lobbying efforts, according to the U.S. Senate lobbying database the company’s upped their overall lobbyist spending in the second quarter of 2011, spending record amounts to protect their brands and the rights of internet users.
Google in particular hit the lobbying circuit hard, spending $2.06 million in Q2, up 54 percent from the same period 12 months ago. The search giants spending was also up over Q1 when they spent $1.48 million. The database also reveals that the company spent a total of $5.2 million on lobbying efforts in 2010.
The move towards more lobbying makes sense for the company as they battle various issues from privacy concerns and advertising regulation to trademark issues and tax reform, all of which could affect their business in negative ways.
TechCrunch points out:
Interestingly, this quarter was the first time that Google outspent Microsoft on lobbying. Microsoft spent $1.852 million in the second quarter, slightly above the $1.85 million it reported in the same quarter in 2010. And Microsoft spent $1.72 million in the first quarter of 2011.
Google isn’t the only company spending big, Facebook has spent more in the first two quarters of 2011 than they did on all political lobbying efforts in 2010 with at least $1 million spent so far in 2011.
Facebook much like Google has focused much of their lobbying efforts on internet policy areas including global regulation of software companies, internet access issues (net neutrality among them), online safety measures and the company’s achilles heel, privacy for users among other issues.
When not spending money directly on lobbying Facebook has been playing nice with America’s top political figures including President Obama who held a town hall meeting on the company’s network in April.
Facebook has even went as far as to hire a group of lobbyists to help them take on governmental issues with the help of experienced former government workers.
In the meantime, privacy issues, patents and various other technological issues continue to arrive at the forefront of the emerging tech market which has come under more fire as various company’s launch Initial Public Offerings” and fears of another tech bubble continue to dominate many takes regarding internet startups and established company’s.