US technology giants Google, Facebook, and Microsoft spend the most money on lobbying in Europe, according to a study by the Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl. Companies are spending large sums of money as the EU tries to enforce stricter laws aimed at limiting the power of these companies.
The technology sector even outperforms the pharmaceutical, fossil fuels, financial and chemical sectors, which have dominated lobbying in the past.
“The growing lobbying power of large technology companies and the digital industry as a whole reflects the huge and growing role of these industries in society,” the study said. According to it, the cause for concern should be that these platforms can use their influence to make sure that their voices are heard more than the voices of critics in the debate on new rules for digital platforms.
The study states that 612 companies, groups, and associations spend more than €97 million a year on lobbying in the digital economy. The paper is based on data that companies entered into the EU Transparency Register by mid-June.
Google spent the most money, €5.75 million. This was followed by Facebook, lobbying expenses of which amounted to €5.5 million. Microsoft spent €5.25 million, Apple €3.5 million, Huawei €3 million, and Amazon €2.75 million for the same purpose.
Technology lobbying focuses on two main pieces of legislation. Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act, which are designed to more tightly control digital platforms and requires them to more closely monitor content.
In addition, the study also warns against connecting the industry to the European Commission (EC). Lobbyists attended three-quarters of the 270 meetings of EC officials on both bills.