It takes that special touch to get what you want

Google and Facebook both spent more money on lobbyists this quarter than they ever have before, according to disclosure documents filed Wednesday…

It’s been one quarter since Facebook offered an explanation of its privacy efforts to the FTC and one month since Google confirmed it was the target of an FTC antitrust investigation. Now it seems both tech giants have decided to pay more attention — and more cash — to Washington.

Google increased its lobbyist spending from $1.48 million in the first quarter to $2.06 million in the second. For the first time, the company is spending more on lobbyists than Microsoft. Meanwhile, Facebook increased its spending from $230,000 in the first quarter to $320,000 in the second. Before this year, the highest amount the social network had reported spending on lobbyists in one quarter was $130,000.

It’s not unusual for large companies to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists each quarter. In the most recent quarter, Sony, Tyson and Walmart paid out $490,000, $600,170 and $1,490,000 respectively. General Electric spent a whopping $6.8 million. But both Google and Facebook are on rather unusually steep spending curves.

So what problems are the tech giants trying to resolve?

Google lists regulation of online advertising, privacy issues, immigration (involving Ph.D’s), openness and competition in online services, and cloud computing among its target issues.

Facebook’s somewhat shorter list includes international regulation of software companies and restrictions on Internet access by foreign governments, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and federal privacy legislation.