He lobby of the technology industry gain strength in European Union (EU). During the first eight months of the year, the sector has invested up to 113 million euros in trying to influence the political decisions it makes. Brussels16.5% more than in 2021. This is revealed A study published by the German non-profit association LobbyControl.
This figure represents the expenditure of up to 651 companies and organizations that intend to set the legislative course of the EU. However, the increase is led by large corporations such as Goal, Manzana either Google. The ten largest digital companies have invested around 40 million in putting pressure on European authorities, which represents more than a third of the sector.
The report confirms the growing concern of the technology industry at a crucial time for its regulation. In the last year, the EU has put in place new laws that will directly affect the business and way of operating of these companies. It is the case of the Digital Markets Law (DMA), the legislation antitrust that will set stricter standards for the technological giants, but also that of the Digital Services Law (DSA), which will force platforms to use less citizen data and be more transparent. The regulations that will regulate the artificial intelligence (AI) also worries the sector.
Meta, the one that spends the most
Meta leads the list. This year, the owner of Facebook, instagram and WhatsApp has allocated 8 million euros, more than the 5.75 million spent in 2021. Apple is second on the list, doubling its contribution to reach 7 million. They are followed by Google, with 5.5 million; Microsoft, with 5; the semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm, with 4; Amazon Europe, with 2.75; the China Huawei and the Spanish Telephoneboth with 2; IBM and Intelwith 1.75 million.
Top lobby spender with the largest number of lobbyists is Meta (formerly Facebook): it increased its lobby expenses from 5.5 Mio € two years ago to 8 Mio € today. Meta is followed by Apple that spent 3.5 in 2021 and now invests 7 Mio € into lobbying the EU. (3/4) pic.twitter.com/zczlnG3JUA
— LobbyControl Tech (@lobbyctrl_tech) September 11, 2023
Meta is also the giant that has the most lobbyists at its service in Brussels, with a total of 17 full-time employees. Then there are Huawei (11), Intel (10), Google (8), Amazon (8), Apple (7) and IBM (7).
It is difficult to quantify whether all of them manage to influence EU legislative texts, but we do know how many meetings have they had with the European Council, the body that brings together the heads of state or government of the member countries. Google leads this section among companies in the technology sector, with 340 meetings, followed by Meta (207), Microsoft (192), DIGITALEUROPE (184), Vodafone (172), Telefónica (135), IBM (130) and Deutsche Telekom (126).
Pressure from the US
Both lists are dominated by companies from the United States, which represent just under 20%. The report indicates that the lobbying power of companies based in France, Germany and the United Kingdom has decreased to only 10%. Telefónica is the only Spanish company that is among those with a more robust lobby in the community club. On the other hand, Chinese giants, such as ByteDance or Alibabaare present on the pressure lists, but continue to invest much less than the Americans.
Source of data and images: elperiodico