Technology outfits spend fortune on lobbying -

Big technology companies are spending a huge chunk of their budgets keeping Washington politicians tanked up on booze and little cheesy snacks.

According to Valley Insider, the 'lobbying budget" for many IT outfits has sailed through the roof and is on its way to visit Uranus.

Google has stepped up its lobbying spend in the last year, shelling out $4.03 million in 2009. That's up 44 per cent from the year before and is possibly because the outfit has the FTC breathing down its neck, leaving a slight smell of onions.

While it is a lot of more money than before, Google does not spend as much as Redmond, which thinks $6.7 million is about right.

However, the telcos are the biggest "winers and diners" in Washington. Comcast spent $12.6 and AT&T spent $14.7 million.

There are some weird things that are in the Valley Insider paperwork. For a start Google's lobbying is half what it spends on advertising. Apple spends the least on lobbying as a percentage of revenue. This is because it is an insignificant player in all markets, despite what the US technology press tells you. However, it has been getting into trouble lately over its walled garden of delights and will probably have to step up its Washington protection money.

More here.