Facebook Spends Record Amounts On Lobbying, But Not As Much As Google Does

Facebook continues to spend record amounts on lobbying, according to the company’s third quarter filing with the U.S. Senate.

Facebook spent $360,000 last quarter, bringing its lobbying expenditures for 2011 so far to $910,000 — on track to spend more than $1 million this year.

Facebook’s third quarter expenditure is three times what the social network spent during the same period one year ago, and more than the company spent on lobbying, $351,390, in all of 2010.

The third quarter number, which is large compared to the company’s previous filings, is still dwarfed by the spend of other major technology companies in Silicon Valley.

For example, last quarter Google spent more than $2 million on outreach to legislators.

Facebook’s growing lobbying budget is aligned with the tech company’s expanding presence in Washington, D.C., and its public engagement on a range of new policy issues, including job growth strategies and outreach to small businesses.

Facebook issued this statement to us regarding lobbying expenditures:

This increase represents a continuation of our efforts to explain how our service works as well as the important actions we take to protect people who use our service and promote the value of innovation to our economy.

In the past year, Facebook has hired a cadre of seasoned political, communications and policy veterans from previous Republican and Democratic administrations.

Leveraging its network, Facebook has courted Capitol Hill as well as the Obama White House, hosting a town hall with the President at its California campus and launching a joint jobs initiative this week with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Facebook’s growing presence in the nation’s capital has included hiring three lobbying firms to advance its legislative and policy agenda.

According to the Senate database, Facebook is focused on a number of policy issues in 2011, including international regulation of software companies, internet privacy, cyber security, and congressional rules that would allow more members to use social media to engage with constituents.

In addition to lobbying at the federal level, Facebook also reaches out to lawmakers in its home state of California.

Earlier this year, Facebook scored a major victory in Sacramento, persuading state legislators to vote against a bill that would have made more user information private on social networking websites.

Readers, do you think Facebook is spending too much money on lobbying or not enough?

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