Executives, lobbyists, and more than a dozen groups paid by Big Tech have tried to head off bipartisan support for six bills meant to undo the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
He will move to an advisory and advocacy role beginning next year. The former senator has led the broadcasters’ group for more than a decade. He’s being succeeded by NAB’s COO Curtis LeGeyt.
Facebook and Amazon topped all other U.S. companies in federal lobbying expenditures last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the most recent disclosures. It was the second straight year they outspent all other companies, including stalwarts such as AT&T and Boeing.
Mitch Rose, SVP of federal government affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal. has been named EVP and head of the company’s Washington. Rose succeeds Kathy Zachem, who is retiring after 13 years with Comcast NBCU.
Facebook is working behind the scenes to help launch a new political advocacy group that would combat U.S. lawmakers and regulators trying to rein in the tech industry, escalating Silicon Valley’s war with Washington at a moment when government officials are threatening to break up large companies. The organization is called American Edge, and it aims through a barrage of advertising and other political spending to convince policymakers that Silicon Valley is essential to the U.S. economy and the future of free speech.
Congress is handing traditional broadcasters such as CBS and ABC a surprise victory in a contentious, multimillion-dollar TV lobbying fight by letting key parts of a 31-year-old satellite TV law die.
Lines are blurring or becoming more stark among different tech, media and telecom companies. Telecom companies are producing content, while platform companies are exploring new services like internet connections. That means sectors are no longer staying in their lanes, and regulatory scrutiny is shifting.
The National Association of Broadcasters continued to lead the industry’s lobbying charge in 2018, spending $14.16 million on lobbying efforts last year, according to an Inside Radio review of disclosure filings. That represented an 8% decline compared to what the NAB allocated to lobbying in 2017. The reports also show the NAB reduced its lobbying spending by 23% from 2016 to 2018.
Major internet service providers spent more than $11 million on lobbying amid fights over privacy rules and a coming showdown over net neutrality. Three of the largest telecom companies — AT&T, Verizon and Comcast — collectively spent a total of $11.2 million during the first three months of the year, according to congressional disclosure forms filed last week.
Former NAB executive Kelly Cole will lead the wireless trade groups lobbying effort in Washiington.
The end of 2015 saw an uptick in lobbying related to the controversial daily fantasy sports industry, according to disclosure forms. Daily fantasy website DraftKings spent $80,000 in the last three months of the year on outside lobbying help, according to its filing. Rival FanDuel spent $50,000 on lobbying services from law firm Steptoe and Johnson. It was the first full quarter in which the firms lobbied in Washington.
The search giant spent $4.62 million in the second quarter, down from the $5.47 million it spent in 1Q 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.
Jessica R. Herrera-Flanigan joins the Hispanic broadcaster in a newly created position to oversee the company’s Washington office and lobbying efforts.
Comcast is pulling out all the stops in trying to win approval of its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable by fielding one of the biggest lobbying teams ever seen in Washington. The company has added seven lobbying firms to its roster since first proposing the deal earlier this year, and it is adopting a posture of overwhelming force to try to win approval from federal regulators.
Women are busting through K Street’s glass ceiling, seizing positions of power in an industry once almost the exclusive preserve of men. Whether they’re managing the lobbying operations of Fortune 200 companies, running their own shops or building up a roster of big-name clients at mega-firms, women are steadily moving into roles once considered part of Washington’s “old boys club.”
Google — once a lobbying weakling — has come to master a new method of operating in modern-day Washington, where spending on traditional lobbying is rivaled by other, less visible forms of influence. Google was second to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012 and in fifth place among D.C. players in 2013.
Along with lobbying on issues with obvious ties to its business — cybersecurity, Internet taxes, telecom regulations, and others — Comcast has worked to influence bills centered on immigration reform, homeland security, and college aid, according to its disclosure reports.
Netflix on Monday launched its online streaming service in Latin America, undeterred by the setback with its Starz partnership and angry customers .And as it sets its sights on expanding around the globe with plans for Asia and Europe, the Silicon Valley streaming giant is trying to beef up its lobbying and policy staff in Washington to work out an onslaught of international and U.S. issues that threaten its business.
Kathy Ramsey of The Fritts Group and Kristopher Jones of the NAB will join the Fox parent’s Washington office this month.
The National Association of Broadcasters is pinching the nerves of some lawmakers on Capitol Hill, where tensions are already flaring with the end of the session fast approaching. Some Democratic and GOP staffers say their bosses are tired of negotiating with the NAB on lingering policy issues because the trade association seems unwilling to hammer out a compromise, especially on radio issues.