Amazon paid government relations professionals US$12.4 million over the first nine months of 2019—a 16 per cent increase compared to the same period last year—followed closely by Facebook, at US$12.3 million (up almost 25 per cent). Google has spent US$9.8 million, Microsoft US$7.8 million and Apple US$5.5 million. Amazon, Facebook and Apple are all on track for record years of spending on lobbying. (Wall Street Journal)
Talking point: The push comes as the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the House Judiciary Committee are investigating Big Tech. But the companies are also increasing their government contacts as they bid for lucrative federal contracts. On Friday, the Pentagon picked Microsoft over Amazon for a decade-long deal worth up to US$10 billion to build a military cloud-computing system. The companies have also significantly upped their presence in Ottawa under the Liberals, with a major focus on government procurement. About a fifth of tech giants’ communications with officials over the last four years were on the subject, as the federal government increased its use of technology to deliver services to citizens.