Facebook, Amazon hit record spending in last lobbying quarter

Facebook, Amazon hit record spending in last lobbying quarter
© Greg Nash

Facebook and Amazon both set records for quarterly lobbying spending as they deal with new scrutiny from Congress and the administration over their business practices.

Facebook spent $3.67 million and Amazon $3.47 million in the second quarter of 2018, according to lobbying disclosure records.

The record sums come as Facebook deals with backlash over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The British research firm hired, which at one point was hired by the Trump campaign, improperly harvested information on 87 million Facebook users. Facebook is also dealing with heat from Congress over how Russia used its platform to influence the 2016 presidential race.

Facebook’s $3.67 million sum is $1 million higher than its second-quarter spending in 2017 and higher than its 2018 first-quarter tally of $3.3 million. Last quarter's total was the company's previous lobbying record.

Its lobbying disclosure forms show that it also spent money on high-skilled immigration issues and trade, two other important issues for the company.

While Amazon didn’t have high-profile controversies like Facebook, the company still spent generously trying to influence Congress in areas like government procurement and cloud modernization — two areas where its critics allege the company has an unfair advantage.

Amazon is also seeing increasing criticism for its size, which some argue makes it a monopoly.

Google, which is facing issues of its own, spent a hefty $5.9 million.

The high lobbying spending by tech firms follows a trend as internet companies try to establish themselves in D.C.