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Report: Silicon Valley spends much less on lobbying than you’d think

Report: Silicon Valley spends much less on lobbying than you’d think
[Photos: Flickr user Jamin Gray; Architect of the Capitol/Wikimedia Commons]

Last year Alphabet, the parent company of Google, earned revenues of over $39 billion. How much of that $39 billion do you think they spent on lobbying?

Not much. In 2018, Alphabet hired roughly 80 lobbyists and spent $21.7 million—just 0.05% of revenues. Alphabet perennially ranks near the top of U.S. corporate lobbying spending.

Amazon’s figures are even more surprising. Despite earnings over  $232 billion in 2018, the company employs approximately 90 lobbyists and spent just $14.4 million on lobbying last year, or 0.006% of its revenues.

The lowest ratio is Apple’s. The company earned $265 billion last year, yet has only 35 lobbyists and spent $6.7 million on lobbying in 2018, or .002% of revenues.

We’ll leave you to ponder whether or not this constitutes undo corporate influence, but know that lobbying spending by tech companies is likely to spike with the Techlash, particularly as Congressional attention increasingly turns toward Silicon Valley.

The good people at Fortune gathered these tech lobbying expenditures into a pretty chart. One caveat: these numbers do not account for non-registered lobbying activities, such as Mark Zuckerberg’s recent dinner with President Trump.

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