Thursday, January 19, 2006

Reed-Elsevier among the top UK spenders on US lobbyist

William Walsh points to an article in The Times listing top British spenders with US lobby groups. It seems that we spent $12.5 million since 1998.

"According to Alex Knott, the political editor of the Centre for Public Integrity, British lobbying in Washington was higher than for any other country, and was more than the total spent by 35 American states.

The highest spenders were GlaxoSmithKline ($32.4 million), BP ($26.8 million), HSBC ($23.8 million), Reed Elsevier ($12.5 millon) and Reuters ($12.2 million). Defence manufacturers, such as Rolls Royce, have, Mr Knott suggested, obtained particularly good value for money. Rolls Royce has spent $2.9 million on lobying since 1998, while obtaining $1.8 billion in US defence contracts."

I haven't contributed to it yet, but I support our lobbying efforts , as I support other lobbying efforts including AIPAC .


Christina said...

Hm. But is Reed-Elsevier a British company? Reed was, I guess, but I don't think all the money that Reed-Elsevier spent should be attributed to British parts of the organization...

Either way. An interesting fact.

Rafael said...

you are correct, it should be attributed to British & Dutch funding, or may be this is coming just from the Reed site, I'll try to find out.

Anonymous said...

You support their lobbying efforts -- why, on what basis? What are they lobbying for and is it for something that will improve the world?

I believe their main curent lobbying effort is against proposals that would require US government funded researchers to make their results available in open access publications. Clearly it is in the publishing industry's interest to continue charging high rents on information, but why is it in anybody else's interest?

Rafael said...

Christina, you are right. The funding should not be attributed to the British part of the company. The number that was in the article is a cumulative total covering multiple years and it includes U.S. lobbying efforts on behalf of various Reed Elsevier units such as LexisNexis, Harcourt and others. These efforts have focused on different issues including education, intellectual property, information privacy, copyright etc... Also all our lobbying efforts are performed in compliance with all applicable laws. I hope this clarifies your point.