Wikipedia defines lobbying as the act of attempting to influence decisions made by government officials. A lot of companies do it to persuade members of regulatory agencies to act in their benefit.
You can actually tell a lot about a company by how much they spend on lobbying and what they lobby for. That’s what makes the recently released congressional lobbying disclosure reports so interesting…
CNNMoney reports that the congressional lobbying disclosure reports for the second quarter of 2012 are out, and once again Google has outspent Apple nearly 10 to one. And they aren’t kidding. Last quarter, Google spent $3,920,000 on lobbying congress, while Apple spent a mere $470,000.
So what are they spending all of that money on? Most of Google’s cash goes towards bills regarding online privacy. More specifically, the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2011, Personal Data Protection, the Breach Accountability Act of 2011, the Do Not Track Me Online Act, and several more.
Apple’s interests seem to be a bit more eclectic. There’s the Protect IP Act (surprise, surprise), the Job Creation & Innovation Act, the American Research and Competitiveness Act, Elementary & Secondary Education Authorization, Children’s Online Protection, Energy Star and EPEAT.