Two of the biggest names in American communications, Verizon and Google, are also two of the highest spenders in the world of political lobbying. In the last two years alone, the two spent a combined $63 million attempting to sway legislation in their favor, and 2014 is gearing up to be another landmark year in Silicon Valley's profits flowing into Washington: the two are already $6 million deep in 2014, with Comcast and AT&T nipping at their heels. Google leads contributions, with over $3.8 million already spent in 2014.
Not that anyone's surprised; Google's been involved with politics for some time now, even openly joining the lobbying group The Internet Association in 2012.
Some of the company's subtler tactics were recently uncovered by The Washington Post, such as hosting a conference at George Mason University and stacking the invite list with Federal Trade Commission regulators and other folks instrumental in deciding the fate of Google's 2011 FTC investigation (which ended in a settlement).
Verizon's also no slouch in the world of politics, having previously thrown its weight into the ongoing battle between the companies using wireless spectrum and the government agency which regulates said spectrum (the Federal Communications Commission). Both Verizon and Google are on track to match and exceed previous contributions -- the only question is which company will contribute more.
[Image credit: Getty Images, Brand X]
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.