You can’t get to 1.11 billion friends without spending a few dollars: Consumer Watchdog reported that the social network spent $2.45 million on lobbying efforts during the first quarter of 2013, up a whopping 277 percent from $650,000 in the year-earlier period.

Facebook spent a total of $3.99 million on lobbying in 2012, according to Consumer Watchdog.

Tech companies that spent more on lobbying in the first quarter were: AT&T ($4.26 million), Verizon ($3.67 million), and Microsoft ($2.53 million), Consumer Watchdog reported, while the social network outspent Oracle ($1.37 million), Amazon ($859,831), and Apple ($720,000).

According to TechCrunch, issues Facebook devoted lobbying efforts to included:

  • International regulation of the Internet and freedom of expression.
  • Privacy and security policies and education on those policies.
  • Education on online advertising.
  • Immigration reform.
  • Cybersecurity and data security.
  • Tax issues and stock options.

Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director John M. Simpson said:

Clearly, Facebook has decided to buy its way into Washington.

The spending figures do not include FWD.us, the political advocacy group spearheaded by Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as the group is not affiliated with Facebook.

Readers: Are you surprised at how much money Facebook is devoting to lobbying efforts?

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