Amazon spent a record amount of money lobbying Washington, D.C., in 2019 as the tech giant angled to land a massive government cloud computing project, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Amazon spent nearly $17 million on lobbying that year, setting a record for the company, the report notes, citing federal records published Tuesday. Flooding the nation’s capital in cash didn’t appear to help CEO Jeff Bezos land a nearly $10 billion cloud computing project.
The company is “focused on ensuring we are advocating on issues that are important to our customers, our employees and policymakers,” Amazon spokeswoman Jill Kerr told WaPo. (RELATED: Amazon Strikes Back After Trump Delivered Billionaire Bezos’s Online Behemoth A Crushing Blow)
Bezos’s empire was long considered a front-runner for the so-called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, before the Trump administration moved to award the coveted $10 billion cloud project to Microsoft.
The decision to give Microsoft the deal came in October after President Donald Trump, a critic of Bezos, instructed the Defense Department in August to put the contract on hold. The DOD reviewed the project and eventually gave Microsoft the deal in October.
Bezos’s company is playing for keeps, largely because Trump’s decision could completely reshape an enormous section of Amazon’s position in the cloud computing industry. Microsoft is in a strong position to win future federal cloud computing projects.
Trump’s alleged bias against the company’s founder, billionaire Bezos, played a part in the Department of Defense’s move, the company argued in a statement. Amazon officially lodged a complaint with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
WaPo’s report Wednesday also noted that Amazon is not the only tech company that racked up lobbying cash in 2019. Facebook spent more than $16 million, an increase of 32% from 2018, and Apple plowed $7 million into Washington, D.C., that year, up 10% from the year before.
Amazon has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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