Facebook and Amazon are now the top lobbying spenders in the US

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  • Facebook and Amazon have emerged as the biggest corporate lobbying spenders in the US, a report finds.
  • Big Tech contributed at least 33% more in the 2020 election cycle than it did in 2018.
  • Amazon increased its lobbying spending by 30% during the period from 2018 to 2020, the report said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook and Amazon have become the country’s two biggest corporate lobbying spenders, investing almost twice as much as oil giant ExxonMobil and tobacco company Philip Morris in 2020, according to a new report.

Amazon increased its spending on lobbying efforts by 30% during the period from 2018 to 2020 to reach $US18.7 ($25) million, according to a report published by Public Citizen, a progressive consumer rights advocacy group, and based on data by the Center for Responsive Politics. Facebook spent 56% more in the same period to reach around $US19.6 ($26) million, the report found.

ExxonMobil spent $US8.69 ($11) million on lobbying efforts in 2020, according to its public Lobbying Disclosure Act filings. While Philip Morris spent $US6.95 ($9) million in lobbying in 2020 according to data published by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Public Citizen report evaluated the influence of the four tech giants-Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple- on regulators and lawmakers through lobbying and contributions.

“The foundation of the Big Tech companies’ influence are their lobbying teams, which use campaign contributions, existing relationships, and past experience to swing policy in their favor,” Public Citizen said in the report.

Big Tech’s political action committees, employees, and lobbyists contributed more than 33% in the 2020 election cycle compared to the 2018 cycle, according to the report.

The country’s tech giants gave around $US3.2 ($4) million in 2020 to members of Congress who look into big technology regulation, including privacy and antitrust issues.

Facebook and Amazon didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

However, Facebook told The Wall Street Journal in January that the internet needs updated regulations and that it will continue supporting new rules “that address today’s realities online.”

An Amazon spokesperson also told the Journal that its Washington, D.C. team is focused on supporting issues that matter to policymakers, customers, and employees.

The tech giants channeled their financial contribution towards lawmakers in the House Judiciary Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, according to the report.

Almost 94% of members in these committees received money from a Big Tech corporate’s PAC or lobbyist in 2020.

All four tech giants have been under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers over antitrust issues that led to an investigation that said that these companies monopolized the market for their advantage.

Social media companies also have been criticized for allowing their platforms to spread misleading information during the pandemic and elections in the US and other countries.

CEOs from Google, Facebook, and Twitter will testify in a Congressional misinformation hearing on Thursday about the spread of misinformation on their platforms.

Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal published an analysis that said Facebook and Amazon were the biggest lobby spenders in 2020. Facebook increased its spending by 18% in 2020 compared to the prior year, while Amazon spent 11% more.