In the second quarter of this year, the combined lobbying spend of tech giants’ like Apple, Amazon, Google, and others was $35 million. Bloomberg reports that the lobbying expenditures are directed to fend off upcoming antitrust bills in the U.S. Congress.
Led by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative David Cicilline, upcoming bipartisan bills like “Ending Platform Monopolies Act”, American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and Open Markets Act threaten the business practices of the four biggest technology companies: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Meta (former Facebook).
The legislation would prohibit the largest tech companies from using their dominant platforms to disadvantage competitors. Another bill would ease Apple Inc. and Google’s grip over the app ecosystem, forcing iPhone and Android makers to open up their platforms to third-party app stores and apps.
Therefore, the tech companies have spent millions of dollars to “crush” the effort.
Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook increased lobbying spending by 15% in 2022 to water down legislation affecting their business practices
In Q1, 2022, Apple spent a quarterly high of $2.5 million on lobbying, a 34% increase in lobbying budget from Q4, 2021 to water down stifling legislation.
Overall, the four biggest technology companies and their third-party groups spent $35.3 million during the first half of 2022, a 15% increase from $30.5 million in the first half of last year.
However, Amazon spent a record $4.98 million on lobbying in the second quarter of this year, a 2.5% Y-o-Y increase. And Apple decreased its spending in Q2, 2022. iPhone maker spent $1.9 million in Q2, 2022, along with Google which spent $2.77 million, and Microsoft Corp. which spent $2.41 million.
Maybe the reduction in lobbying spending has to do with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who has delayed voting on the bills.
The spotlight is now on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who hasn’t scheduled a floor vote for the bills despite pledging to do so earlier his summer.
It’s unclear whether Congress will pass the legislation before the August recess. Still, the threat has caused a flurry of opposition as the companies spend tens of millions on advertising campaigns, funnel money into front groups and deploy their top executives to appeal to lawmakers directly.