Tech Giants Hit High Records on Political Lobbying Last Year
Since the onset of Trump administration that put many tech giants into the limelight, Google, Amazon, and Facebook have been reported to have spent the highest record amount on lobbying the US government last year. However, Google spent the highest bill on political lobbying than other tech companies. Amazon and Facebook were the next players who also brought out big guns in 2018.
The parent company of Google, Alphabet spent around $21.2m on lobbying costs in the US last year. This amount startlingly exceeds its former all-time high record of $18.2m that Alphabetattained in 2012. In the technology grouping of FAANG that incorporates Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, Alphabet turns out the biggest spender on political lobbying.
Subsequently, Amazon made the second largest spending of around $14.2m, which surpassed its previous high of $13m in 2017. Meanwhile, Facebook spent $12.6mand reached a new record of high lobbying costs in 2018.
As per the data retrieved from Independent Centre for Responsive Politics, Google paid $18m lobbying costs while Facebook paid $11.5min 2017. On being questioned on their policy of political advertisements, fake news, and bipartisanship, the chief executives of both Google and Facebook, along with other senior leaders, testified before US authorities in 2018.
On the other hand, US President Donald Trump accused Amazon in a personal tirade for the struggling revenues of the US Postal Service in 2018. Additionally, the lobbying costs spent by Microsoft were also recorded to fluctuate from 2017 to 2018. The software giant was the third largest spender at around $9.5m in 2018, which is though, up from 8.5m in 2017, but below its bill of$10.5m in 2013. Apple comes next with $6.6m spending but fell below from its previous bill of$7.2m in 2017.
Alphabet reported that technology behind search engine, international tax reform, and criminal justice reform are the new issues that were added to its discussion list in the last year’s lobbying efforts. However, Google is subject to current negotiations related to digital tax. Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor assured to press this issue ahead in the October’s budget plan. While the ‘election integrity’ was the new discussion topic reported by Facebook. Since it was revealed that the adverts on Facebook were the source of disturbing fake news and other propaganda during US presidential elections and 2016 EU referendum, Facebook has been subject to severe scrutiny by politicians and regulators. The discussion topics of Amazon last year included data privacy, trade tariffs, and immigration pushbacks. Other topics of interest were drug prices, healthcare plans, and food safety as Amazon hinted to enter into the pharmacy sector.