Google joined the lobbying elite in 2012 with competitive spending on lobbyists, and just two years later it cleared an impressive new hurdle. According to official lobby disclosures for the last year, and today reported by Consumer Watchdog, Google eclipsed telecommunications behemoths — spending more on lobbying in 2014 than AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
While pure spending doesn't translate directly into influence, it's still an important number for Google and other companies in the tech industry. Google and other allies have been locked in a battle with established lobbying giants like Comcast and AT&T over net neutrality, which is now reaching a pivotal moment as the FCC prepares to make a decision on Title II regulation amid certain Republican opposition.
Google is here to stay
It's not just Google making up ground in Washington. In 2014, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast all decreased their spend on lobbying over their efforts in 2013, while Yahoo, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon all increased their lobbying budget. According to Consumer Watchdog, Amazon also posted a company record in 2014, increasing its lobbying spend by 37 percent to $4.74 million — a number that will likely continue to grow as the company works to liberate its looming army of drones.