Log in
E-mail
Password
Show password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Google, Facebook, Microsoft top EU lobbying spending - study

08/31/2021 | 06:00am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A Microsoft logo is pictured on a store in New York

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Alphabet Inc's Google unit, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp are the three biggest lobbying spenders in Europe in a battle against tough new laws aimed at curbing U.S. tech giants' powers, a study released on Tuesday showed.

Such efforts should be a wake-up call to EU policymakers to beef up the draft laws and lobbying rules, the study by campaign groups Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl warned.

The tech sector outspends even the pharma, fossil fuels, finance and chemicals sectors, which used to dominate lobbying, the report said.

"The rising lobby firepower of big tech and the digital industry as a whole mirrors the sectors' huge and growing role in society," the study said.

"It is remarkable and should be a cause of concern that the platforms can use this firepower to ensure their voices are heard - over countervailing and critical voices - in the debate over how to construct new rules for digital platforms."

The study found that 612 companies, groups and associations spend more than 97 million euros ($114 million) annually lobbying on EU digital economy policies. The data was submitted by companies to the EU Transparency Register up to mid-June this year.

Google topped spending at 5.75 million euros, followed by Facebook at 5.5 million euros, Microsoft at 5.25 million, Apple at 3.5 million, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd at 3 million and Amazon.com Inc in sixth place with 2.75 million, the study said.

Google and Huawei responded that they submit their lobbying data to the EU transparency register.

"We have clear policies in place to protect the independence of the people and organisations we sponsor, including a requirement to disclose funding," Google said in an email.

Microsoft said: "The European Union has been and remains an important stakeholder for Microsoft. We seek to be a constructive and transparent partner to European policymakers."

Facebook, Apple and Amazon had no immediate comment.

The tech lobbying focuses on two key pieces of legislation. The Digital Markets' Act lists do's and don'ts for tech giants, and the Digital Services Act requires companies to do more to police content on their platforms.

The study warned about the industry's access to the European Commission, with lobbyists involved in three-quarters of the 270 meetings Commission officials had on the two draft laws.

It also cited the role played by trade and business associations, think tanks and even political parties in promoting the tech industry's narrative.

The European Commission rejected the criticism.

"The Commission is open to meeting anyone who wishes to speak to us. The Commission does not, and will not control who requests meetings, nor how often. It is also not for the Commission to explain or comment on lobbying strategies of the different companies and interest representatives," a spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.

($1 = 0.8476 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Richard Chang and Mark Potter)

By Foo Yun Chee


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. 0.15% 2827.36 Delayed Quote.61.07%
AMAZON.COM, INC. 3.31% 3409.02 Delayed Quote.0.84%
FACEBOOK INC -1.15% 324.76 Delayed Quote.20.27%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION 0.48% 304.21 Delayed Quote.36.12%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
04:41pSquare CEO Dorsey says looking to build a bitcoin mining system - tweet
RE
04:38pTSX climbs to record high as investors eye 'Santa Claus' rally
RE
04:37pTSX climbs to record high as investors eye 'Santa Claus' rally
RE
04:28pHealth Care Up, But Lags Broad Market, Amid Cyclical Bias -- Health Care Roundup
DJ
04:23pLIVESTOCK-CME cattle futures mixed; hogs rise on short-covering
RE
04:22pMaterials Up As Copper Nears Record High -- Materials Roundup
DJ
04:19pEnergy Up As Oil Closes At 7-Year High -- Energy Roundup
DJ
04:18pU.S. should not have charged former Boeing chief technical pilot -lawyer
RE
04:15pDominican Republic convicts two people over corruption linked to Odebrecht
RE
04:15pUSTR requests ITC probe trade distribution effects on workers, underserved groups
RE
Latest news "Economy & Forex"