Microsoft’s 3Q lobbying tab rises 16 pct to $1.88M

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? Microsoft Corp.’s third-quarter lobbying expenses rose 16 percent to $1.88 million as the world’s largest software maker tried to win over U.S. lawmakers and regulators.

The company’s bill for political persuasion during the July-September period compared to $1.63 million at the same time last year, according to documents filed with the filed with the U.S. Senate’s secretary’s office.

Microsoft has long ranked among the technology industry’s biggest spenders in Washington, but it has been eclipsed by rival Google Inc. This year. Google, the Internet’s search leader, has outspent Microsoft in each of the last two quarters, including $2.4 million spent in the latest three-month reporting period.

Like Microsoft was for much of the 1990s, Google is under increasing government scrutiny amid complaints that it has been abusing its dominance of Internet search to stifle competition. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general in several states are investigating Google’s business practices.

Microsoft’s lobby agenda spanned issues, ranging from broad topics such as the state of U.S. education to more technical matters such as cyber security. The company also tried to make its points about immigration policies, software sales to the government, copyright laws, electronic health records, online child safety, free trade agreements and tax reform, among other things, according to an Oct. 19 disclosure statement.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company aimed its arguments at Congress, the Commerce Department, the Energy Department, the Defense Department, the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Internal Revenue Service, the White House, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, Office of Management & Budget, U.S. Copyright Office, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S Trade Representative.