The online social networking giant Facebook is searching for friends in the nation's capital faster than ever.
When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the company had no federal lobbyists in Washington, D.C., but since then, Facebook's lobbying expenditures have soared. During the third quarter of 2013 alone, Facebook reported spending $1.4 million on lobbying — it's second-highest quarterly amount since it first hired federal lobbyists in mid-2009.
Since then, Facebook has spent $10.7 million on lobbying, including nearly $5 million so far this year, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of records filed with the U.S. Senate. No matter what it spends during the final quarter of the year, 2013 will be a record year for the company.
In addition to its own in-house lobbyists, Facebook also employs the services of five professional lobbying shops: Elmendorf Ryan, Patton Boggs LLP, Peck Madigan Jones, Steptoe & Johnson LLP and Stewart Strategies and Solutions LLC.