Amazon and Facebook set records for lobbying spending in Washington

Amazon.com along with its subsidiaries and parent company Facebook set records in lobbying spending in Washington last year with spending at least $20.3 million and $20.1 million, respectively, according to disclosures filed Thursday evening and prior filings aggregated by OpenSecrets.org.

The e-commerce giant AMZN,
-2.49%
and Meta Platforms FB,
-1.17%,
then known as Facebook, had set records in 2020 with their lobbying spending of just under and above $19 million, and now their 2021 spending has topped those totals.

Amazon and Meta rank among the leaders in lobbying spending among the nation’s five largest tech companies by market value, outspending other giants. Parent Alphabet Google GOOG,
+0.38%

GOOGL,
+0.54%
and its subsidiaries shelled out at least $11.5 million last year, Microsoft MSFT,
+0.54%
spent $10.3 million, and Apple AAPL,
+0.48%
paid $6.5 million, according to their disclosures.

Big Tech’s spending came as the companies increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs of U.S. lawmakers and regulators on a range of issues, with Republicans and Democrats questioning the power of Silicon Valley companies.

But investors in tech giants generally don’t look so scared of Washington, as four of the companies’ five stocks have topped or roughly matched the S&P 500’s 16% rise over the past 12 months. . Alphabet’s shares are up 41% during this period, Microsoft is up 34%, Apple is up 20% and Meta’s stock is up 16%. Only Amazon shares have underperformed the S&P, losing 10% over the past 12 months.

See: Senate panel approves antitrust bill targeting Apple, Google and Amazon

And read: Big Tech is heading into “a year of thousands of tiny tech paper-cuts,” but what antitrust efforts could make them bleed?

Amazon’s fourth quarter disclosure shows it lobbied on a wide range of issues, including counterfeits, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, cannabis reform, telehealth, drones, immigration highly qualified and postal rates. Meta’s fourth-quarter filing says it focused on issues including election integrity, disinformation, privacy, immigration reform and artificial intelligence.

Amazon and Meta’s annual spend is poised to eclipse the most any of the Big Five tech companies has ever disclosed spending on lobbyists in a year – the company’s total of $21.9 million parent of Google Alphabet in 2018, which was then followed by a major overhaul of the search king’s influence operation in Washington.

Now read: Amazon has mostly avoided antitrust scrutiny, but that could change in 2022

As well: Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp are antitrust targets, but its metaverse mergers could be victims

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