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Finance

InfoShot: US tech firms lobbying spend in 2014

Throughout 2014, we were keeping tabs on how much the tech giants of Silicon Valley and beyond were spending on lobbying. This week saw the figures for Q4 released, so here’s the final count.

2013 was a record year for tech money being spent trying to whisper in the ears of Capitol Hill, but the 16 companies we featured in our graphic actually spent less in 2014. In 2013, the top tech lobbyists spent $84.87 million compared to $83.92 million last year. Google topped the list again, spending a mighty $16.83 million in 2014. Microsoft still came second but spent less ($8.3 million) than in 2013 ($10.5 million).

Facebook saw a 45% rise in its lobbying spend to a record $9.34 million. It was also a record year for Amazon and Apple, with the companies splashing out $4.74 million and $4.11 million respectively. Dell, Accenture and EMC all increased their spending compared to 2013, while Cisco, IBM, Intel, Oracle, HP, Blackberry and Qualcomm saw a reduction in their lobbying efforts.

SAP, eBay, Cognizant, Samsung, Adobe, Xerox, Teradata and Unisys all spent less than $2 million, while McAfee, Palantir, Huawei, Salesforce, Autodesk, Symantec, Yelp, Twitter, Verisign, SAS and AMD were all sub $1 million. As the tech world continues to reshuffle, the giants of yesteryear are seeing their influence wane, while the dominant forces of today ramp up their suggestive powers. Uber’s first year saw them spend $170,000, but on the back of a rough year they might ramp that up in the coming months.

Advertising, privacy, cybersecurity, patents & IP, tax, immigration, energy, drones, and mobile payments were the big issues for tech in 2014. With 2015 being an election year it’s a safe bet to say there’ll be even more money spent trying curry favour. 

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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