Google spent more money than its rivals in corporate lobbying efforts in the US in 2017, making it the first technology company to have spent the most on such costs in at least two decades, the media reported. Google (now part of parent company Alphabet) spent over $18 million lobbying politicians in 2017, Time.com reported on Wednesday citing federal disclosure records.
Amazon spent over $12.8 million on lobbying activities in 2017, Facebook spent $11.5 million Microsoft spent $8.5 million, and Apple spent $7 million. The lobbyists of these companies pressed lawmakers and the White House on several issues including advertising regulations, cybersecurity, free trade and immigration, the report said.
A surge in lobbying efforts by tech companies was noted even as many of them including Facebook and Twitter face scrutiny over their failure to stop the alleged Russian influence on the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook enhanced lobbying spending by nearly $3 million, Apple by $2.3 million, and Amazon by nearly $2 million, Time.com said.
According to an earlier report titled “Google Academics Inc.” Google-funded studies are published by a wide variety of sources, and often blur the line between academic research and paid advocacy. According to Daniel Stevens, Executive Director, Campaign for Accountability, “Google uses its immense wealth and power to attempt to influence policymakers at every level. At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the allegedly independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.”
With added reference from an earlier IANS report.