Apr 21, 2018

Facebook sets new lobbying record

Mark Zuckerberg with his global policy chief, Joel Kaplan, behind him. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Facebook spent $3.3 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2018, according to its disclosure form, setting a new quarterly record for the social network by a hair.

The big picture: Big Tech lobbying has soared in the Trump era as criticism mounts about its practices.

Yes, but: Facebook's spending was only 3% higher than its previous quarterly record — set in the same period in 2017 — despite the fact that political winds have turned against the company in the last year. The first quarter of 2018 also only covered part of the backlash over Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of Facebook user data.

What everyone else spent in the first quarter:

  • 🔍 Google spent $5.02 million. That's up 43% from the same period in 2017 but only 14% from the previous quarter.
  • 📦 Amazon spent $3.38 million. That represents a 17% increase year-over-year and a 2% change from the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • 📱 Apple spent $2.14 million. Its spending jumped 53% from the first quarter of last year and a 29% rise from the final quarter in 2017.
  • 💻 Microsoft spent $2.3 million. It spent exactly what it did in the first quarter of 2017 and 6% more than in the previous quarter.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.