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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:58 AM

The Netflix lobby in Washington spent $1 million in two years

Netflix has spent over a million dollars on lobbying in Washington, DC, some of which went to pushing through legislation that will allow its users to share their video watching habits on Facebook, according to a report from The Next Web. Though its overall profitability is still shaky and its revenue hovers around a billion dollars per quarter, the companyís spending in Washington is not far out of the leagues of tech companies many times its size.

Netflix formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) earlier this year that aimed to work on issues like the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). VPPA reform has been the PACís priority since its formation, and success came when Congress passed the reform on December 20. Now, services like Netflix can integrate with social media vectors like Facebook without the explicit written consent from customers that was formerly required by law.

But Netflix has many more policy issues on its plate, including net neutrality and bandwidth caps. While its half-million-dollars-per-year spending may seem like peanuts on the grand scale (Netflix posted $905 million in revenue for the third quarter), the company is ramping up to the level of participation of bigger tech players.

For example, Amazon pulled in $13.18 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2012, and has spent just over $4 million lobbying in last two years. Facebook, which often finds itself at the center of policy issues of late, approximately matches Netflix for revenue but has nearly matched Amazonís much larger lobbying budget at $4 million. Comcast, which often stakes out the opposing position to Netflixís stance on issues like net neutrality, has outspent many larger companies' lobbying: its revenue for Q3 was $16.54 billion, but itís spent $32 million advocating for itself in Washington in the last two years


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