January 24, 2018 12:17 am

Google’s parent company Alphabet was the top spender on Washington lobbyists in 2017

Electronic screens post prices of Alphabet stock at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, Feb. 1, 2016.

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

WASHINGTON – Google parent Alphabet Inc. outspent all other companies on lobbying Washington bureaucrats and politicians in 2017, a year in which it and other tech giants were hauled before legislators probing Russian influence in the 2016 election.

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The search giant doled out $13.6 million on lobbying firms like Prime Policy Group and Gephardt Group, edging out the $13.2 million spent by AT&T, which is facing government opposition to its takeover of Time Warner Inc. for $85 billion. The figures were compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Lawyers from Google, Facebook and Twitter were grilled by lawmakers the week of Nov. 1 for not preventing abuse of their platforms by Russian agents masquerading as Americans.

Alphabet’s spending actually fell 12 per cent compared to 2016, but AT&T also cut back.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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