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Home / International News / US lawmakers & regulators weighed privacy & antitrust rules; Google & Facebook spend huge amount on lobbying

US lawmakers & regulators weighed privacy & antitrust rules; Google & Facebook spend huge amount on lobbying

January 23, 2019:

On Tuesday, Alphabet Inc’s Google disclosed in a quarterly filing that it spent a company-record $21.2 million on lobbying the US Govt. in 2018.

Google and Facebook
Google and Facebook

It topped its previous high of $18.22 million in 2012, as the search engine operator fights wide-ranging scrutiny into its practices.

In its filing to Congress, Facebook Inc disclosed that it also spent more on Govt. lobbying in 2018 than it ever had before at $12.62 million.

That was up from $11.51 million a year ago, according to tracking by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Google’s spent $18.04 million on lobbying in 2017, according to the center’s data.

Google & Facebook declined to comment beyond their filings.

US lawmakers & regulators have weighed new privacy and antitrust rules to rein in the power of large internet service providers such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.com Inc.

Regulatory backlash in the United States, as well as Europe and Asia, is near the top of the list of concerns for technology investors, according to financial analysts.

Microsoft Corp spent $9.52 million on lobbying in 2018, according to its disclosure on Tuesday, up from $8.5 million in 2017 but below its $10.5 million tab in 2013.

Apple Inc spent $6.62 million last year, compared to its record of $7.15 million in 2017, according to center data going back to 1998.

Apple and Microsoft did not respond to requests to comment. A filing from Amazon was expected later on Tuesday.

Google disclosed that new discussion topics with regulators in the fourth quarter included its search technology, criminal justice reform and international tax reform. The company is perennially among the top spenders on lobbying in Washington along with a few cable operators, defense contractors and healthcare firms.

Facebook said discussing “election integrity” with national security officials was among its new lobbying areas in the fourth quarter.

The filing said the company continued to lobby the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating its data security practices.

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