More than 600 companies, groups and associations spend 97 million euros ($114 million) each year lobbying the European Union regarding online economy regulations, according to Reuters. Of those lobbying efforts, three companies — Google, Facebook and Microsoft — account for approximately 17 percent, or 16.5 million euros, of the total spent annually, the news outlet reported.
Big Tech lobbying efforts outpace pharmaceuticals, fossil fuels, finance, and chemical industries, per the report.
Google notched the top lobbying spot at 5.75 million euros, with Facebook close behind at 5.5 million euros. Microsoft spent 5.25 million euros, while Apple paid 3.5 million and Amazon.com contributed 2.75 million in lobbying, according to Reuters.
The EU has attempted to crack down on Big Tech recently. As PYMNTS reported recently, antitrust regulators conducted a preliminary review of Facebook’s purchase of New York-based software company, Kustomer before launching a 90-day investigation. EU antitrust regulators are opting to look more closely at potentially competition-killing deals involving tech, pharma, and biotech startups.
Google has come under fire for attempts to conceal information deemed not to be private. Last week, PYMNTS reported that Google’s Play Store for mobile devices netted $11.2 billion in revenue in 2019. The revenue information, which saw the store generating $8.5 billion in gross profit and $7 billion in operating income, had not been shared publicly previously. The state of Utah and three dozen other states sued Google, alleging that the company violated antitrust laws by restricting access to its Play Store and the marketplace for smartphone users operating Google’s Android operating system.
In addition to spending in excess on EU lobbying efforts, tech giants Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM have vowed to invest in cybersecurity efforts and train more people in the field to mitigate cyber crime, according to PYMNTS.