Major tech companies of Silicon Valley spend an insane amount of money on trying to influence the regulatory process and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., via federal lobbying.
The concept of lobbying is a push by Silicon Valley-based tech companies to minimize or eliminate regulations and rules that are hindering their growth as they continue to expand into various sections of the economy like medicinal devices and cars. For instance, take Apple CEO Tim Cook. He spent a whopping $4.5 million in tech lobbying.
The concept of tech lobbying in the Silicon Valley is nothing new. The tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Facebook have to keep flushing heaps of money in order to function properly in the competitive world.
Major Amount of Money Spent in Tech Lobbying
The tech giants are used to spend a lot of money in various areas, but some of the crucial areas where money is spent for tech lobbying are areas listed below.
Cyber security is very important. Leading giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple are pioneers of privacy and encryption. In the age of high-end technology, the possibilities of hacking has increased. During such circumstances, it becomes very important for the aforementioned companies to keep sure that their data is safe. Also, it is significant for them to safeguard the user data from malicious and theft attempts.
The increase in online competition makes it necessary for leading giants to pay in order to be on the top.
-Big Business issues, for instance, Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, immigrant worker visas
The tech behemoths like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Cisco, Amazon, and Uber among many other companies employ a heavy number of individuals from overseas. Due to this, lobbying becomes a necessity for them to make sure their employees aren’t troubled due to visa or any familiar issues.
FEDERAL TECH LOBBYING IN 2015
Amazon $9.1 million, Apple $4.5 million, AT&T $14.9 million, Comcast $15.6 million, CTA $4.0 million, CTIA $10.1 million, Facebook $9.8 million, HP $3.4 million, Google $16.7 million, IBM $4.6 million, Intel $4.6 million, Microsoft $8.5 million, NCTA $14.1 million, Oracle $7.5 million, Qualcomm $7.9 million, USTA $5.2 million, Verizon $11.4 million
Source: Lobbying disclosure reports; Note: List does not include all tech lobbying
Google is the leader of the tech market when it comes to lobbying.
Company 2014 2013 2012
Amazon $4.7 $3.5 $2.5
Apple $4.1 $3.3 $1.9
Facebook $9.3 $6.4 $3.9
Google $17.4 $15.8 $18.2
Source: Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act database; Center for Responsive Politics
Also Read: Why So Desperate, Mr. Zuckerberg?
What are the big players from Silicon Valley lobbying for?
Cyber security, data security, and terrorism
Comprehensive reform of immigration system, including temporary high-tech worker visas and employment-based permanent residency,
More transparency around national security-related orders,
Government access to data stores abroad in national-security situations.
Broadband, device accessibility, online video, net neutrality, e-rate modernization, IP address policy, Internet governance, the IANA transition,
ICANN including generic top-level domain names,
Copyright issues, corporate tax reform, payment security, postal rates, and, of course, unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones).
Cybersecurity, privacy, and government procurement.
Members of Congress over online child safety and human trafficking concerns.
Visas and the rules regarding bringing overseas workers into the United States.
Patent reform, corporate tax reform, and a number of issues related to student privacy and digital learning.
International trade issues