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Google, NAB tops media/marketing/tech lobby list

Google’s company-wide effort to control costs hit its lobbying budget, which was down 16 percent in second quarter. But the company still spent more than the other 65 media, marketing, and consumer tech firms tracked by KatyontheHill.

Of the top five, the search giant spent $4.62 million in the second quarter, down from the $5.47 million it spent in Q1 2015.  That topped the National Association of Broadcasters at $4.17 million, AT&T at $4.1 million, Comcast at $3.8 million and Verizon at $3.1 million.

Of the firms with big deals pending before regulators, AT&T was tops at $4.1 million, though down slightly from its $4.4 million in previous quarter.  DirecTV spent $730,000 in Q2, up from $450,000 in Q1.

Charter Communications, which recently announced deals to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks is ramping up. It shelled out $1.1 million in Q2, up substantially from its $640,000 in previous quarter.

Comcast, whose deal with Time Warner Cable was blocked by regulators,  trimmed its budget by 18 percent.

Top 10 media, marketing and tech lobbying expenditures

CompanyQ2 2015Q1 2015% changeQ3/14 to Q2/15
Google$4,620,000$5,470,000-15.5%$17,810,000
NAB$4,170,000$4,720,000-11.7%$17,400,000
AT&T$4,100,000$4,370,000-6.2%$15,000,000
Comcast$3,800,000$4,620,000-17.7%$17,680,000
Verizon$3,080,000$3,350,000-8.1%$12,310,000
NCTA$2,950,000$3,780,000-22.0%$16,040,000
Facebook$2,690,000$2,440,00010.2%$9,570,000
Microsoft$2,240,000$1,890,00018.5%$8,040,000
Amazon$2,150,000$1,910,00012.6%$6,910,000
CTIA$1,760,000$3,130,000-43.8%$9,190,000

Google has a long list of issues to discuss with lawmakers and regulators: advertising (which represents 95 percent of its revenue), consumer privacy and data security, spectrum, autonomous vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle technology, immigration and visas, spectrum allocation and white spaces rules, broadband adoption and deployment, international internet governance, online video, open Internet access, and international tax reform.

The number two lobbyist on our list—the National Association of Broadcasters—was most active discussing ad tax deductibility, copyright and the spectrum auction. Both issues have a big impact on the bottom line of radio and TV business. Also on the NAB list: media ownership, radio streaming, and drones for news gathering,