The top five companies, led by Google, spent nearly $50 million on lobbying in 2015.
Five tech companies spent a combined $48.6 million on lobbying in 2015, and two Seattle-area companies are among the top spenders.
Google topped the list, shelling out $16.7 million, research firm Statista reported using data from the U.S. House of Representatives. The search giant focused on issues such as privacy and cyber security, but also put some efforts and dollars into advocating for self-driving vehicles, a technology Google has been developing.
Facebook ranked No. 2 with expenditures of $9.85 million and was closely followed by Seattle powerhouses Amazon.com, which spent $9.07 million, and Microsoft, which spent $8.49 million.
Amazon’s spending on lobbying has increased dramatically over the past several years. The company spent about half as much in 2014 — $4.9 million — as it did in 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
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Amazon invested in similar issues as Google, including cybersecurity and patent reform. The company’s spending also included lobbying related to its new pet project: the use of drones for quick delivery.
Microsoft’s spending held steady in 2015. Its special-interest area was immigration. The company is known as one of the biggest sponsors of H1-B visas for immigrant high-tech workers.