Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google have seen their stock valuations soar in the past decade as legions of consumers have logged on to their platforms and devices every day.
They’ve also come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and the general public amid concerns about everything from privacy to labor practices to the addictiveness of some of their products, so it’s probably unsurprising that the four large tech companies have significantly ramped up what they’re spending on lobbying and political campaign contributions, according to a new report from the advocacy group Public Citizen.
Collectively, the four tech giants’ annual spending on lobbying jumped from $7.5 million in 2009 to $55.4 million in 2018, according to the report. And their lobbyists, employees, and political action committees contributed $12,103,112 to members of Congress in last year’s midterm election cycle, compared to $2,461,426 in the 2010 midterms, according to Public Citizen, which cites data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
A majority of U.S. senators received contributions from each of the PACs affiliated with Google, Amazon, and Facebook in 2018, according to the report. (Apple doesn’t have an affiliated PAC). In general, PAC contributions crossed party lines, not particularly favoring either Republicans or Democrats.