Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google spent $58M on lobbying in 2017

By Sara Shayanian  |  Jan. 23, 2018 at 12:08 PM
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Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Tech giants Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft spent more than $50 million in 2017 to lobby on privacy, immigration and trade issues.

The companies spent a total of $58 million while the tech sector faced intense scrutiny over its size and influence.

The biggest tech giants spent millions fighting with the White House over immigration, attempting to secure so-called net neutrality regulations and handling a congressional investigation into the ways in which Russia influenced the 2016 U.S. election using social media sites.

In November, the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Facebook, Google and Twitter over paid political ads that come from foreign governments.

After the inauguration of President Donald Trump, White House restrictions on immigration from Muslim-majority countries led to a scare for the tech companies, who feared losing high-skilled foreign workers and their spouses.

The companies also tapped into advocacy funds to help save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program will expire in March unless Congress passes a legislative fix.

The top spender was Google, which spent $18 million to lobby the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Amazon spent $12.8 million in lobbying in 2017, while Facebook and Apple shelled out $11.5 million and $7 million, respectively.

Their biggest lobbying win, tax reform, came into fruition at the end of 2017, when the corporate tax rate for some of the country's wealthiest companies was cut significantly.

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