Microsoft spent $1.7 million in 1st quarter to lobby on health care technology, other issues

Friday, May 21, 2010

Microsoft spent $1.7 million lobbying in 1Q

SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. spent $1.72 million in the first quarter to lobby the federal government on technology in health care and other issues, according to a disclosure report.

That’s more than the $1.65 million the software maker spent in the first quarter of last year.

Microsoft also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving cybersecurity, competition in online advertising, patent reform, software piracy, international trade visas for foreign workers, among other topics, according to the report filed April 20.

The wide swath of issues addressed by Microsoft lobbyists during the quarter echo the software maker’s diverse businesses.

For example, the Redmond, Wash.-based company stands to benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of the bills it lobbied on, and other new proposals that address installing electronic medical records. Microsoft has a health care division with products that help hospitals integrate data from different sources to get a complete picture of a patient’s health.

Microsoft is also fighting to catch up with Google Inc. in Web search and advertising, and to expand the number of programs it offers that run “in the cloud” from data centers. The disclosure report referred to both issues.

As the world’s largest software company, Microsoft is continually going up against software pirates and companies it says infringe on its patent library.

Microsoft employs more than 88,000 people around the world. In the U.S., many are from overseas. Microsoft has supported increasing the number of visas it can offer to foreign workers in the U.S.

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