Who spends most on lobbying?

Written by on January 28, 2016 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

lobbyingWatchdog discloses reports on tech company’s spending on lobbying

Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, monitors the spending on lobbying via disclosure reports of 16 tech and communications companies. Facebook, Apple and Amazon each set corporate records for the amount they each spent.

Google spent $16.66 million on lobbying in 2015 compared with $16.83 million in 2014, a 1 percent decrease. Google’s fourth quarter lobbying expenditure was $3.29 million a 10 percent decrease from $3.78 million in 2014.  The lobbying disclosure reports are still being filed in Google’s name, not that of the newly created holding company, Alphabet.

Facebook, which has substantially increased its Washington presence over the last four years, along with its spending on lobbying – they posted another company record in its effort to influence policymakers.  Spending increased 5.5 percent to $9.85 million from $9.34 million in 2014.  Fourth quarter spending was $2.13 million compared to $1.99 million in 2014, an increase of 7 percent.

“These companies are spending millions to buy the outcomes they want,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “Policymaking is now all about big bucks, not big ideas.”

All this spending on lobbying doesn’t appear to be helping Facebook’s for Free Basics in India.  The Internet giant and the local regulator have been battling it out in what is turning into a “he said, she said” soap opera.  Facebook has launched a public campaign to defend its free Internet platform Free Basics in response to consultation paper floated by The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on regulatory framework for differential pricing for data services.  More on Trai/FB here.

spending on lobbying not gaining FB favor in India
Spending on lobbying not helping FB in India (EETelecom)

At an open house session called by telecom regulator Trai to discuss the issue, companies such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular said there was a need to have a different pricing mechanism for various kinds of data as the Indian telecom industry matures further. The move has been supported by various telecom associations in their views to Trai’s consultation paper on differential tariffs.

Just goes to show, no matter how the story plays out, there can be nothing neutral when it come to the Internet, when everyone has a vested interest in the outcome of the debate.

More Here [consumerwatchdog] and [ETTelecom]

This article was first published here and is reproduced with kind permission.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .

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