According to the U.S. Senate’s lobbying database, Facebook and Google have hit all-time highs regarding the amount of funds they have committed to lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., for the first quarter of 2012.
With Facebook possibly readying its IPO for May 17th, it has almost doubled its lobbying efforts - in Q1 2011, the social network spent roughly $230,000. This quarter, spending is up at $650,000, up $200,000 from Q4 2011. In 2011 altogether, Facebook spent about $1 million, half of which comprised Q1. The company is likely very interested in lobbying for restrictions on internet access by foreign governments to be somehow worked around at present, mainly China, with that country's potential 500+ million new users.
Google tripled its lobbying expenditures from Q1 2011, to $5.03 million this year, up from $3.76 last quarter. In 2011 as a whole, Google spent $9.7 million, and looks like it will quickly exceed that number in 2012. A Google focus this year is SOPA, along with data privacy and patent reform - considering the search giant's present court battle against Oracle over Java APIs used in the development of the Android operating system.