Technology companies spend large sums of money each year on lobbying before various entities and governments in the main regions of the world to try to assert their interests. One of the regions where they do it the most is the EUin which according to a study by Corporate Europe Organization (CEO), the main technology companies will invest this year 113 million of euros in lobbying to try to influence the decision-making policies of the area.
This is a worrying conclusion, but it is even more worrying to know that the combined budget allocated to this has increased by more than 16% in the last two years, since it has gone from 97 million in 2021 to 113 million in 2023.
Of the technology companies, the one that invests the most in lobbying in the EU is Meta, which has gone from spending 5.75 million euros on it in 2021 to 8 million euros in 2023. It is followed by Apple, which has doubled its spending on two years: from 3.5 million in 2021 it has gone to 7 million euros in 2023. In third position is Google, with 5.5 million euros invested. Microsoft is in sixth place, with 5 million euros. Qualcomm, also in the top 10, has gone from 1.75 to 4 million euros.
Meta is also the technology company with the most full-time lobbying staff in the European Union: 17.05. For their part, Google, Amazon and Apple have an average of three more lobbyists each than in 2021. Then Google had an average of 5.5 and now it has 8.7, Amazon has gone from 5 to 8, and Apple from 4, 5 to 7.5. Intel surpasses all three, with 10, while IBM has 7.25.
Domination on the list of lobbyists in the technology sector is held by large multinationals. Among the top 10 on the list, they will invest 40 million euros in lobbying in the EU this year. As for 75% of the remaining companies, they invest less than 200,000 euros. The remaining 25% invest a much smaller amount: less than 5,000 euros each.
The American technology companies account for 20% of investment in lobbying. European companies, including those based in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, invest an average of 10% each. As for Chinese companies, such as Alibaba or TikTok, they barely invest 1% of the total.
According to the organization that carried out the survey, big technology companies have increased their pressure to influence EU policies so that those responsible legislate in their favor as a result of the latest regulations. Specifically, since the approval of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which harm their interests and seek to change important aspects of their respective business models, such as content moderation and advertising segmentation.
This, in addition to the problems that many are having with pending or already resolved lawsuits regarding abuse of power and monopoly. They will also have to face in the near future what the AI Law entails, which will mean that they will have to follow certain rules to deploy their Artificial Intelligence systems in the European Union. And there is no doubt that they will try to make the winds blow in their favor when it comes to it, after failing to achieve their ends with the DSA and the DMA.