A clash over the allocation of new spectrum pits companies whose employees backed Democratic candidates in the last election against those who put their money on Republicans.
At issue is how to divvy up airwaves among telephone companies with wireless networks, such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., and high-tech companies who want to expand wireless Internet connections, such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., as noted in today’s story by Bloomberg’s Todd Shields.
Internet and technology companies “are concentrated in states that tilt Democratic, and some of these Republicans, they see this as an issue that tilts Democratic,” said Harold Feld, senior vice president for the Washington-based user-rights group Public Knowledge.
Employees of Redland, Washington-based Microsoft and Mountain View, California-based Google gave more money to President Barack Obama’s re-election than those at any other companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign donations.
High-tech employees contributed $7.7 million to the president, more than twice as much as the $3.7 million they gave to unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Employees of Microsoft gave 70 percent of their campaign contributions to Democrats, while those at Google gave 74 percent.
In the telecommunications industry, on the other hand, employees of Dallas-based AT&T gave 64 percent of their money to Republicans, including a $5,000 political action committee donation to Romney, their largest percentage since the center began tracking donations in 1990. Employees of New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. gave 58 percent of their donations to the Republicans.