Apple among the companies with biggest percentage increases in lobbying expenditures

Among the 18 companies Consumer Watchdog — a a nonprofit organization dedicated to “providing an effective voice for taxpayers and consumers” — tracked for the first quarter of the year, Cisco Systems and Apple had the biggest percentage increases in their lobbying expenditures in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. 

Cisco Systems increased its lobbying expenditures by almost 90%, from $390,000 to $740,000. Apple increased its spending by 52.3%, moving from spending $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $2.14 million in the first quarter of 2018.

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Lobbying disclosure reports filed last week with the Clerk of the House showed that seven other companies tracked by the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group increased their lobbying spending. Amazon spending soared 16.6%to $3.38 million in 2018 from $2.9 million in 2017. It spent $2.65 million in the first quarter of 2016. Amazon has nearly tripled its first quarter lobbying outlays since 2014 when it spent $1.18 million.

Facebook spent $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2018, a 2.8% increase from $3.21 million in the first quarter of 2017. The social networking company spent $2.78 million in the first quarter of 2016. 

Microsoft, which used to lead the tech lobbying industry expenditures, remained at the $2.3 million level in 2018, the same as it was in the first quarter of 2017. That compares with $2.02 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Here are the 2018 first-quarter lobbying amounts for other tech companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog:

  • IBM spent $1.45 million an increase of 28.32% from $1.13 million, in 2017.
  • Intel spent $1.02 million, an increase of 2.32% from $996,960 in 2017. 
  • Oracle spent $1.23 million, a 44.34% decrease from $2.21 million in 2017. 
  • Twitter spent $150,000, a decrease of 11.76% from $170,000 in 2017.