Facebook joining other networks in political ring

September 28, 2011 1:55:56 PM PDT
Facebook is friending people in high places. The internet company that CEO Mark Zuckerberg started in his Harvard dorm room has formed a new political action committee to financially back political candidates.

In a statement a Facebook spokesman said "FB Pac will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."

Facebook is not alone. Google co-hosted a Republican presidential debate last week.

Linked-in held a town hall style meeting with President Obama.

At the same time, congress is starting to pay more attention to internet companies.

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt was called to testify before a senate panel last week on anti-trust issues. Other issues that might invite lobbying by internet firms: intellectual property, patents, taxes. And the biggie for Facebook: privacy.

Disclosure forms show that Facebook which had almost no presence in Washington a couple of years ago has been ramping up on the political front.

Facebook so far has spent more than $550,000 on lobbying this year, almost as much as it spent in the past two years combined.

Google has spent about 6 times as much.

And this year Facebook has more than two dozen lobbyists in Washington, compared to just two last year.