Supposedly, we live in a democracy in the U.S. but these days I think that is a long way from the truth. While we may elect our officials, they most certainly are not spending their time listening to us (OK, they don’t listen to me at all because I only hold a green card and thus can’t vote). They are listening to the corporations that want us to buy their products and those companies want to influence government regulation to favor them in some way. That unfortunately is the way this country works. Lobbying is big business and the tech industry is far from immune to it. Want to see how desperately tech companies want to control the government? Well, Bloomberg just reported some numbers which to me are quite outstanding.
Heading the list is Google who spent over $18M last year. Why? Well think about all of the law suits and anti-competitive actions they are facing both here and in Europe and that figure is only the figure to influence out politicians. If the amount spent is any indication of the wrong they are doing, then Google knows it is doing a lot wrong and wishes to sweep it under the carpet. And we all thought that Microsoft was the evil empire. They spend less than half that amount, coming in at $8.1M. Other tech companies in the running are Apple, spending $2M and showing a 600% increase this year is their arch nemesis Samsung. We can see why Samsung may believe it has to curry some favor over here and the high profile wrangling does not include the trouble they are in for the anti-dumping measures they are facing. Trailing the cell phone list is Nokia who spent a paltry $320K.
The top 10 lobbyist for 2012 are:
- US Chamber of Commerce $136,300,000
- National Assn of Realtors $41,464,580
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield $21,949,532
- General Electric $21,120,000
- American Hospital Assn $19,230,200
- National Cable & Telecommunications Assn $18,890,000
- Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $18,530,000
- Google Inc $18,220,000
- Northrop Grumman $17,540,000
- AT&T Inc $17,430,000
How has this changed over time? Here are some figures from 2008
The top 10 were
- US Chamber of Commerce $91,955,000
- Exxon Mobil $29,000,000
- AARP $27,900,000
- PG&E Corp $27,250,000
- Northrop Grumman $20,933,252
- American Medical Assn $20,555,000
- Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $20,220,000
- Koch Industries $20,023,000
- American Hospital Assn $19,172,684
- General Electric $18,660,000
And some notable tech companies were
- Microsoft Corp. ($9 million).
- IBM Corp. ($7.9 million).
- Oracle Corp. ($5.28 million).
- Intel Corp. ($1.786 million).
- Business Software Alliance ($1.7 million).
- Google Inc. ($1.52 million).
- Cisco Systems Inc. ($1.14 million)
Brian Bailey – keeping you entertained
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