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Big Tech Goes Big on Lobbying Efforts

Statista logo Statista 1/25/2022 Statista

With most U.S. corporations having filed their 2021 LD-2 reports with the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure, Meta-owned Facebook and Amazon came out on top in terms of expenses for lobbyists in the tech sector. As our chart shows, the rest of the GAFAM companies have also firmly secured their seats at the big spenders' table.

While Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and Google divide the top spots among themselves, smaller tech companies have picked up the pace when it comes to making their concerns heard among the political class. The software giant Oracle, for example, increased its lobby spending by 12 percent compared to 2020, spending the same amount of money as semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm. The latter's 15-percent increase in funding interest groups might be a reaction to the chip shortage caused by the pandemic disrupting supply chains and furthering resource scarcity. In the face of ongoing antitrust investigations and at times damning press coverage concerning Facebook, Amazon and Google, the uptick in these companies' lobbying budget also seems logical. Apple, on the other hand, is the odd one out: While the tech company has been embroiled in a legal battle against video game company Epic over monopolizing in-app purchases in the App Store, it nonetheless reduced its lobbying spending in 2021 from roughly $6.7 million to $6.5 million.

The increase in lobbying funds of a majority of GAFAM can also be explained by President Joe Biden's staff choices and the current political climate. The Federal Trade Commission, for example, is headed by antitrust expert and Big Tech critic Lina Khan, and Congress has been busy introducing various antitrust bills like the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, which makes it harder for Big Tech to acquire rivals, as well as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would prevent social media companies giving their own products preferential treatment on their services.

This chart shows the highest lobbying spending in the tech industry in the U.S.

highest lobbying spending in the tech industry in the U.S. © Provided by Statista highest lobbying spending in the tech industry in the U.S.
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