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TECH MONEY

Charted: Which tech companies spend millions lobbying the US government

This Oct. 20, 2015 photo shows signage outside Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Outspending them all.
By Alice Truong

Deputy editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Uber more than doubled how much it spent lobbying US Congress in 2015 compared to the year before, according to disclosure forms filed with the government. Last year, the ride-sharing company—which is raising a new round of financing that would value it at $62.5 billion—spent $470,000 on lobbying expenses, up 135% from 2014.

Like Uber, Airbnb sports one of the highest valuations ($25.5 billion) for a private tech company and often encounters regulatory troubles expanding to new markets. Yet it too spends relatively little—$260,000 last year—lobbying Congress.

The low spend for these “sharing economy” startups—a fraction of their public counterparts—isn’t particularly surprising since their legal battles tend to be local.  Of tech companies with the largest market capitalizations, Alphabet, parent of search giant Google, spent $16.66 million, the most of any tech company—$6.8 million more than Facebook.

Most of the largest tech companies modestly boosted spending on federal lobbying, but Amazon nearly doubled its to $9.85 million. This ramp up coincided with last year’s hiring of Jay Carney, former press secretary to US president Barack Obama, to oversee lobbying and media relations. Amazon wants to influence policy on topics such as sales tax, drone regulation, and cloud computing.

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