Big Tech to spend record amount on lobbying amid heightened scrutiny
Lobbying expenses by Facebook, Amazon and Apple are set to hit record highs in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Why it matters: Tech companies are shelling out more money for lobbying as they face federal and state investigations and increased regulatory scrutiny.
By the numbers:
- Amazon doled out $12.4 million so far in 2019, making it the top spender among Big Tech companies.
- Facebook's spending jumped to $12.3 million so far in 2019 — an almost 25% jump from the same period in 2018.
- Apple spent $5.5 million over the first nine months of the year — an 8% boost from last year.
- Of note: Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., posted a 41% decline in lobbying expenses after it overhauled its government affairs operation. Google still spent $9.8 million on lobbying so far this year.
How it works: The companies have mainly used the money to present a positive message to Washington.
- Google, for example, has posted signs touting its privacy protections on turnstiles and walls in Ronald Reagan National Airport.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is becoming a regular presence in the capital. He made three visits to Washington over the past five weeks, including a speech at Georgetown University and a visit to the White House.
The big picture: The three companies are the subjects of broad investigations, notes Axios' Sara Fischer.
- Institutions investigating Facebook: House Judiciary Committee, House Financial Services Committee, the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department and state attorneys general.
- Institutions investigating Amazon: FTC and House Judiciary Committee.
- Institutions investigating Apple: House Judiciary Committee.
Go deeper: Explore Amazon's wide Washington reach