Microsoft spent $1.85 million in 2nd quarter to lobby on software piracy, other issues

Monday, August 16, 2010

Microsoft spent $1.85 million lobbying in 2Q

SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. spent $1.85 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government on software piracy, technology in health care and other issues, according to a disclosure report.

That’s slightly less than the $1.89 million the software maker spent in the second quarter of last year.

The breadth of Microsoft’s business is reflected in the diverse issues tackled by the company’s lobbyists during the quarter. Microsoft also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving China’s Internet policy, patent reform and visas for foreign workers, among other topics, according to the report filed July 16.

As the world’s largest software company, Microsoft is continually going up against software pirates and companies it says infringe on its patented technology. The company lobbied the government on piracy in China in particular.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft may also benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of the bills it lobbied on, and other proposals that address 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 medical history and care. The company also lobbied on privacy issues related to its HealthVault system, which consumers can use to store their own medical information.

Microsoft employs about 89,000 people around the world. In the U.S., many of its 54,000 employees are from overseas. Microsoft supports increasing the number of visas it can offer to foreign workers in the U.S.

The company also lobbied the government about human rights and the Internet in China. This year, Microsoft competitor Google Inc. shut down its China-based search engine and started sending mainland Chinese Web surfers to its Hong Kong site instead, as a protest against the Chinese government’s insistence on censoring search results.

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