Following growing political spending by the like Google, Facebook and others, Zynga has hired two lobbying firms, the National Journal reports, to help spread its message on Capitol Hill. The company has hired lobbyists from Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart, and Bay Bridge Strategies.
According to the Sunlight Foundation, the two firms are “interconnected” and will “carry water for the company” among the halls of Congress. The two lobbying shops share office space, and are both parts of the Tiber Creek Group.
Zynga’s investment in lobbying is not unique. Facebook and Google have amped their spending in the nation’s capitol greatly in 2012. From TNW’s previous coverage of their lobbying budgets:
In the first quarter of 2012, according to a report in The Hill, Facebook spent $650,000, up some 183% from a year ago. Google spent more than $5 million in the quarter, up from $1.5 million a year ago, more than tripling. Microsoft, IBM, and HP each spent around $1.5 million.
Comcast also spent heavily recently, during the Great SOPA War, dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on a variety of lobbying firms. Recently, Facebook has grown its DC operation to stable size, prompting a massive article in Politico detailing its operations.
It isn’t hard to guess what Zynga wishes to promote; it derives its revenues from online games, so it stands to logic that the company wants online gambling to become legal in the United States. The company would stand to garner a massive slice of a legal online poker market, for example, due to its brand and ability to leverage casual gamers into its new titles. Of course, other companies wouldn’t mind if digital gambling became legal.
In our coverage of Facebook’s DC team, we noted that “once you get big in tech, you need a Washington team that is as powerful on the Hill as you are in the Valley.” Zynga isn’t there yet, but it is getting its feet wet. I doubt that they will do anything but grow their lobbying team.