Google and Facebook both upped their lobbying expenses to record sums for the two companies in the first quarter of 2012, new filings with the clerk of the House of Representatives reveal.
Google spent $5.03 million during the first three months of the year, including lobbying efforts regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Google was vocally opposed to SOPA and still has yet to take a stance on CISPA.
A Google spokesperson sent the following statement to TPM regarding its lobbying efforts this quarter:
“As we have seen over the last year, there are a number of technology issues being debated in Washington. These are important issues and it should be expected that we would want to help people understand our business – the work we do to keep the Internet open, to encourage innovation, and to create economic opportunity.”
Facebook spent $650,000 during the same period, including lobbying regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act, which Netflix has expressed a desire to amend in order to get its Netflix Facebook app up and running in the U.S.
A Facebook spokesperson told TPM:
"At Facebook, we're committed to explaining how our service works; the important actions we take to protect the more than 845 million people who use our service; and the value of innovation to our economy. We have made it one of our priorities to ensure that resources are in place to demonstrate our leadership in privacy, security and safety."
In total, Google increased its lobbying expenditures by 240 percent over last year, while Facebook increased its expenditures by 183 percent, according to The Hill.