A new survey shows that Facebook will be the biggest corporate lobbying spender in the United States in 2020.
According to the Public Citizen survey, Facebook spent $19,680,000 lobbying in 2020, almost $1,000,000 more than Amazon, the second-highest spender.
Big Tech has replaced Big Oil and Big Tobacco—the top lobbying spenders in the past. According to the report, Amazon and Facebook spent almost twice as much on lobbying in 2020 as Exxon and Philip Morris.
Big Tech has spent a record-breaking $124 million on lobbying and campaign donations during the 2020 election cycle. Amazon and Facebook, which increased lobbying and campaign spending by 30 percent and 56 percent, respectively, from 2018 to 2020, are responsible for much of this development.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President, and Chief Legal Officer, said, “I can tell you that [political spending] is important. Because of the way the democratic process operates, not because of the scale of the checks. Politicians in the United States organize gatherings, such as weekend retreats, at which you must pay a fee before being admitted and participating.
“So, if you work in the government affairs department in the United States, you spend your weekends and evenings attending these functions, and the only reason you go is that the PAC writes a check.
“However, a partnership develops, emerges, and solidifies as a result of the continuing effort … I sometimes call representatives to ask for assistance with green cards or visa problems … Or consider the problems of national security and privacy.
“ … Sometimes when I call people I don’t recognize, they’ll say stuff like, ‘You know, your folks have always turned up for me at my events.’ We still have a strong working relationship. Allow me to see what I can do to assist you.'”
A month ago, Microsoft’s quiet pursuit of TikTok seemed to be dead … Then Brad Smith, the company’s president, got to work. He called a group of legislators and told them that TikTok would be safe in Microsoft’s possession. He had everything he wanted in less than 48 hours.