It's been said that it takes money to make money, though that's not the only thing piles of green paper are good for. Toss enough dollars at the U.S. government and you can enact change, among other things, because let's face it, money talks. If it didn't, the top technology firms wouldn't have spent a combined $61.15 million on government lobbying last year.
That figure comes from Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan and nonprofit public interest group. According to Consumer Watchdog, the money spent by tech firms on trying to influence federal regulators and lawmakers in 2013 increased 15.9 percent over 2012.
"Policy making in Washington is about how much money you can throw around," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project Director. "These tech guys are increasingly willing to spend whatever it takes to buy what they need."
The biggest spender in 2013 was Google
, which pumped $14.06 million into Washington on lobbying efforts. Google actually decreased its spending 14.7 percent compared to 2012 when it was under investigation by the FDC over antitrust concerns, though it still led all other tech firms.
came in second by spending $10.49 million, up 29.7 percent from $8.90 million in 2012, while Facebook
added $6.43 million, up 61.2 percent from a year prior.
Wireless carriers also contributed vast amounts of money to lobbying efforts. Spending by telecommunication players was led by AT&T, which coughed up $15.94 million, followed by Verizon at $13.44 million and Sprint at $2.75 million. All three amounts represent increases of at least 8.2 percent.