Tech companies like Apple and Facebook reportedly spent a record amount of money in 2017 lobbying the government, a sign that Silicon Valley feels the need to try to influence policymakers.
Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple collectively paid $50 million, according to Recode, in order to stave off any threats of federal regulation — something certain people on both sides of the political aisle have suggested. Individually, Apple spent $7 million in 2017, Facebook $11.5 million, Google $18 million and Amazon $12.8 million, all substantial upticks from 2016. Amazon exhausted four times as many funds as it did in 2013, presumably to continue advocating for laxer rules when it comes to drone technology (for delivery purposes) and internet sales taxes.
The larger tech industry, and especially the aforementioned companies with their powerful platforms and services, has been hit with severe scrutiny over issues in recent months and years, including “fake news” and purported foreign manipulation, sex trafficking, terrorist exploitation, and alleged sabotaging of technology, among many others. (RELATED: Rubio Grills Apple For Sucking Up To China For Profits)
Many of these issues, though, are still up in the air going into 2018. Overall, as U.S.-based tech companies grow in power and influence, and thus gain the attention of regulators and portions of the public, their deep pockets and near-bottomless coffers will almost certainly have to be utilized even more.
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