Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

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

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fight over a new Supreme Court justice will take Washington's partisan bickering to a new level and undermine any chance for needed coronavirus relief measures before November's election, Wall Street analysts say.

What we're hearing: "With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, the level of rhetorical heat has increased, if that seemed even possible," Greg Staples, head of fixed income for the Americas at DWS Group, tells Axios in an email.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 31,346,086 — Total deaths: 965,294— Total recoveries: 21,518,790Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,858,130 — Total deaths: 199,890 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
2 hours ago - Technology

Why Puerto Rico is still struggling to get online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Internet connectivity remains a weak link for the disaster-wracked U.S. territory Puerto Rico, and some experts fear a new tranche of Federal Communications Commission subsidies set aside just for the island might not help the people most in need of a broadband connection.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico is locked out of most federal funding available to U.S. states to help expand internet service. The island risks being left behind as carriers expand and upgrade high-speed internet networks elsewhere, even as infrastructure-damaging tropical storms come faster and harder and the pandemic makes broadband even more of a must-have.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!