Google and Facebook Spend Most on Lobbying Among Tech Firms

Daniel Stevens | June 08, 2015

On Tuesday, June 2nd, President Obama signed into law the USA Freedom Act, which, among other things, requires the NSA to terminate its bulk data collection program. The passage of the bill represented a win for the tech industry, including Google and Facebook, which said the bill was a vital first step in restoring “trust in the internet.”

Government surveillance was just one of dozens of issues the tech giants lobbied about during the first quarter of 2015. Google and Facebook also disclosed lobbying about legislation reforming the patent system, which is expected to be a major congressional issue in June. With so many pressing issues facing the tech industry, the industry's top companies have spent millions of dollars attempting to influence Congress and federal agencies this year.

Data: MapLight analysis of the top 10 of the top 25 technology companies listed in the FORBES Global 2000 that spent the most money lobbying Congress and federal agencies between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015, on all issues. Data Source: Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • The top spender, Google, spent $5.1 million on lobbying Congress and federal agencies during the first quarter of 2015.

  • Combined, the top ten tech companies spent $19.2 million on lobbying during the first quarter of 2015.

  • All ten tech companies reported lobbying about patent issues during this period.

To see detailed information on company lobbying since 2008, please click here to view our comprehensive federal lobbying database.


MapLight analysis of federal lobbying disclosure filings from the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives between January 1, 2015, and March 31, 2015. Lobbying totals represent money paid by an organization to each lobbying firm for services on all issues. Organizations report total lobbying expenses as a lump sum, which includes both in-house lobbying expenses and amounts paid to (and reported by) lobbying firms that they employ. MapLight calculates a given organization's in-house lobbying expenses by subtracting the total income reported by the lobbying firms that it employs from the company's total reported expenses. In general, filers may round their spending and expenses to the nearest $10,000, and we treat the designation of "Less than $5,000" as a value of $0. MapLight updates its lobbying database daily to capture amendments. Full reports are due on the 20th day of January, April, July, and October.