Lobbying spending by tech giants set to hit record highs

Lobbying spending by tech giants like Facebook and Amazon is setting records as both companies have spent more in lobbying than aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman as of Sept. 30.

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Facebook increased its lobbying expenditures by nearly 25% to $12.3 million this year, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Amazon is the number one lobbying spender after increasing its expenditures by 16% to $12.4 million.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FBFACEBOOK INC.197.51-1.81-0.91%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.1,745.53-7.26-0.41%
AAPLAPPLE INC.263.19-3.10-1.16%
GOOGLALPHABET INC.1,301.86-10.73-0.82%

Northrop Grumman spent $11 million as of Sept. 30, according to The Journal.

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Apple and Microsoft got in on the trend, boosting lobbying spending by 8% and 9%, respectively.

The tech companies' attempts to improve their images and find friends in Washington, D.C., comes as many lawmakers and even high-profile presidential candidates are using them as a punching bag on the campaign trail.

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For example, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren recently ran a series of admittedly fake advertisements on Facebook accusing founder Mark Zuckerberg of endorsing President Trump — a tactic intended to criticize the social media behemoth's policy of letting politicians make false statements in paid ads.

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a candidate forum on labor issues in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) (AP)

She's one of many lawmakers who are interested in breaking up big tech and characterize the companies as monopolies. On Thursday, Warren asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon over allegations the e-commerce giant ignored warnings about an issue that led to the Capital One hack that affected more than 100 million people.

The FTC, Department of Justice and even Congress are probing the tech giants for antitrust violations and other offenses. But for now, the companies have deep pockets and aren't afraid to use them.

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