updated 02:40 pm EST, Mon February 18, 2013
Major tech companies wield influence on American government
Google increased the amount it spent on lobbying the US government 90 percent year-over-year in 2012, according to data compiled by Fortune. The company ended up spending $18.22 million, easily beating out any other American technology firm. Microsoft, in fact, came in second place with $8.09 million, despite likewise increasing its spending. Other major tech businesses that funneled more money toward lobbying last year included HP, Facebook, and Amazon.
Several tech businesses dropped the amount of cash they spent, including Oracle, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Dell, and Apple. Apple notably shrank its spending to $1.97 million, despite being one of the most profitable corporations in the world. An LD-2 disclosure form reveals that the company tried to sway politicians on topics such as digital textbooks, taxes on repatriated overseas profits, and EPEAT environmental standards.
Apple's funding was spread evenly throughout the year, roughly $500,000 per quarter. The company has traditionally tried to distance itself from politics, but sometimes takes a more aggressive stance. It was for instance openly opposed to Proposition 8, a measure which attempted to ban gay marriage in California.