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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Tuesday, July 21

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New mainframe slows sales decline at IBM

Sales fell 13 percent in the second quarter at IBM, and profit dropped 16 percent—but things could have been worse if it weren’t for sales of the recently launched Z13 mainframe. IBM blamed much of the decline on a strong dollar and the sale to Lenovo of its low-end server business.

Tech companies go on a spending spree in Washington

IBM could have boosted its results by $1.8 million in the second quarter by eliminating its spending on lobbyists. Instead, it increased its spend by 7 percent. Other companies spent more, however: Amazon doubled its lobbying budget to $2.15 billion, while Facebook’s expenditure on lobbying rose by a quarter to $2.7 billion in the quarter. Apple and Intel each spent about $1.25 million, both up from the year-earlier quarter. Alone among the big tech companies, Google cut spending to $4.62 million—but at that level, it’s hard to tell whether peer pressure or thrifty new CFO Ruth Porat were behind the reduction.

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