Amazon.com's spending in the fourth quarter declined nearly 12 percent from $690,000 to $610,000. For the year, its spending increased nearly 13 percent from $2.22 million to $2.5 million.
Apple spent $540,000 in the fourth quarter, an increase of 20 percent from $450,000 the previous year. For the year, Apple spent $1.97 million, a decrease of 13 percent from $2.26 million in 2011.
Energy firm Southern topped the list of lobbying spenders during the fourth quarter, with $5.07 million. General Electric spent $4.94 million, and aerospace firm United Technologies spent $3.89 million.
Several trade groups outspent the individual companies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $29.5 million on lobbying during the fourth quarter, nearly doubling the spending of the next highest trade group.
CTIA, a trade group representing mobile carriers, was also among the top spenders, with $3.4 million spent during the fourth quarter, while the National Cable and Telecommunications Association spent $5.88 million during the quarter.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.