Politico released a list of top spenders on lobbying among tech giants – and it is no surprise that Verizon, Comcast and AT&T make the top. What’s interesting is how low on the ladder Facebook falls. With just $60,000 spent in Quarter 2, (and only about $41,000 in Quarter 1) Facebook finished last on the list of biggest tech spenders.
One shouldn’t assume that’s because Facebook’s lobbying team is run by intern-types in torn jeans and flip-flops though —last year, it brought in Timothy Sparapani, a former senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, to beef up its lobbying effort being run by Adam Conner. Conner is no slouch himself, having worked for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York) in the past. Ironically, Sparapani had been a fierce privacy advocate before joining Facebook, foregoing an account on the social networking site for himself until recently (funky shades, Tim).
While Facebook’s spending has almost doubled compared to previous quarters, it’s still low compared to other tech-lobbying companies considering there is a new Internet Privacy Bill in the works that’s sure to affect the company. But perhaps the deep resentment over the under-construction bill that’s already brewing among smaller players in online business is holding big fish like Facebook and Google back from a more conspicuous role. Perhaps they feel it’s wiser not to treat this one as their own solitary fight — and their spending figures sure seem to demonstrate that.