It spent more than Apple, less than Google and about the same as Amazon last quarter.
Facebook spent more money lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter of 2018 than it ever has before, according to a new filing. The social media company forked over $3.3 million to steer lawmakers on privacy, security, online advertising, and transparency efforts, among other issues.
While that’s a lot for Facebook, it’s not far from what its peers spend.
Amazon spent slightly more, $3.38 million, last quarter as it looked for favorable policies on everything from taxes to music licensing to drones. Google was the lead tech spender so far in 2018, dishing out more than $5 million to influence policies on intellectual property, “student digital privacy” and law enforcement access to data stored abroad.
Facebook could increase lobbying efforts as it seeks to curtail blowback from the Cambridge Analytica scandal late in the first quarter, in which an outside firm was able to gain access to data on 87 million users without their permission.
In 2017 Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google spent a record amount — about $50 million — on lobbying. So far in 2018, these companies are on track to beat that record.
Of course, spending in the low millions of dollars is not a big deal for tech behemoths. Facebook, for example, pulled in about $40 billion in revenue and $16 billion in profit last year. Its $11.5 million lobbying spend in 2017 was barely noticeable for a company of its size.
And internet companies haven’t even reached the lobbying heights of some other industries, like pharmaceuticals, insurance or oil and gas.
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