Analysis of data filed with the Senate Office of Public Records showed Google, spent $5.47 million in the first three months of the year.

That made it the fifth biggest federal lobbyist across all industries. It was already the biggest tech lobbyist in Washington, D.C., during the quarter, according to an analysis by Maplight.

Apple, Amazon and Google lead the tech industry figth for influence on Capitol Hill. Image: iStock/CocoZhang
Apple, Amazon and Google lead the tech industry figth for influence on Capitol Hill. Image: iStock/CocoZhang

Google has been steadily increasing the amount it spends to influence the course of policy and law on a range of issues. Since mid-2011, it has spent on average at least a million dollars each month in areas both central to its business, such as online advertising and security, and tangential to it, such as international tax reform and drone technology.

Apple spent $1.24 million in Washington in the first quarter, beating its previous record spend of $1.19 million in the fourth quarter last year. Its eight lobbyists covered areas including digital textbooks, international trade, patents and copyright, and workplace diversity.

Amazon's lobbying bill jumped 14 percent on the previous quarter to $1.91 million. Issues close to its corporate heart include data breach notifications, postal reform, cloud security and skilled immigrant workers.

Tech companies have been increasingly concerned with promoting their views in Washington as they confront the fallout of hte Snowden revelations on snooping, move into industries that are already regulated, and as US regulators increasingy focus on the digital economy. US tech giants also face mounting scrutiny in Europe over privacy, taxation and business practices, and want US government backing in handling Euopean Commission regualtors

But not all big tech companies spent more money last quarter.

Facebook cut its spending to $2.44 million, down 12 percent from a year earlier, and Microsoft spent $1.89 million, down 9 percent.

Blackberry spent no money at all on federal lobbying last quarter. The company, which is battling declining market share and trying to cut costs, had spent over half a million dollars in each of several recent quarters.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is [email protected]