Tech in the Trump era: Google, Apple, Amazon set lobbying records

More problems, more money.

Google and other big tech companies spent record amounts on lobbying in the second quarter as they tried to figure out how to deal with the Trump administration, whose policies and stances don’t exactly line up with those of the tech industry.

Google shelled out the most during the quarter that ended June 30: $5.93 million. The multi-tentacled tech giant often tops other tech companies’ spending on lobbying — even pre-Trump — and has taken its share of criticism for it.

The issues Google is concerned about run the gamut, according to its filing. They include immigration — a common issue all the tech companies mentioned here listed in their filings — advertising, computer science education, energy, government funding of science and more.

Amazon was next with with a record $3.2 million; Oracle spent a record $2.79 million; Facebook, $2.38 million; and Apple, a record $2.2 million.

Apple’s spending was up from $1.4 million in the first quarter; while Facebook’s was actually down from its first-quarter lobbying total of $3.2 million. Google has spent more than $5 million in previous quarters, but never as much as it did in the second quarter.

Amazon’s lobbying issues include taxes and net neutrality. Oracle listed defense information systems and copyright among its concerns. Facebook’s concerns include cybersecurity and privacy. And Apple lobbied for issues such as privacy and health data, autonomous-vehicle technology and more.

The tech industry, most of which voiced its opposition to Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, is now having to lobby his administration (and the rest of Washington). So far, the tech industry has failed to sway the Trump administration on immigration and H-1B visas, clean energy and more.

In Google’s case, its record lobbying comes amid its antitrust issues in Europe — will the U.S. government stick up for it and the other U.S. tech companies that are facing scrutiny on that continent? Meanwhile, the FTC is looking into Amazon’s proposed purchase of Whole Foods.


Photo: Left to right: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Vice President-elect Mike Pence listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of technology executives at Trump Tower, Dec. 14, 2016, in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


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  • noh1bvisas

    Just hire Americans. Enough with the excuses and lies.

  • SondraL

    The tech industry lives in its own little bubble so that part of its problem is an unwillingness to acknowledge the hypocrisy that the Bay Area (and much of the West Coast) propagates. For example, it’s willing to throw as much money as possible at politicians, but publicly rails against “special interests” and buying off politicians! Another problem is how can they influence a Trump administration when they are a part of those elites who are mystified that he was elected?

    So, yes, hiring Americans would be good; so would using their endless shouting about their brilliance and “innovation” to actually help put people to work. For example, one (or more) of those companies could show some initiative and state that many Americans who are older, educated and experienced and either unemployed or underemployed, are a complete waste of resources. A program could be implemented (with training if needed) to put these individuals to work. Think would good PR THAT would be!