In 2017, Amazon spent about $12.8 million on its lobbying efforts–a then-record amount. The following year it hit a new company record for lobbying spend, reports Bloomberg: $14.2 million. That’s only a little behind the leader, Google, which spent $21 million on lobbying in 2018.
These tallied numbers show just how seriously Amazon wants its political sway to be. While it continued to up its lobbying dollar amounts, the e-commerce giant reportedly expanded its reach, too. Amazon Inc., says Bloomberg, lobbied “more government entities than any other tech company in 2018.” Over the last six years, Amazon has increased lobbying spending by about 460%.
There are many reasons why Amazon wants such a pronounced lobbying presence. The most apparent is that, as it expands its services to new domains, the company wants to make sure it remains in good standing with lawmakers. President Trump has been known to lash out at Amazon’s potentially anti-competitive practices–and the company is working to ensure that other politicians don’t question its dominance further.
What’s more, Amazon sees dollar signs from the U.S. government. Writes Bloomberg:
One of Amazon’s priorities is to persuade federal agencies to rent Amazon’s vast cloud computing services rather than maintain their own. (Amazon then bids for the work through the federal procurement process.) The company also wants to power a planned, governmentwide e-commerce portal for official purchases of everything from office furniture to paper clips–a $50 billion market.
Meanwhile, the company has reportedly tried to curb the influence of trade groups that spoke critically of Amazon–and has even allegedly launched its own group to further advocate for its interests.
It’s increasingly clear that Amazon has no plans to stop putting pressure on lawmakers. And with a new headquarters being built near Washington, D.C., we can only expect the company’s political influence to grow even more.
You can read the full Bloomberg story here.