Facebook and Amazon lobbying reach new heights amidst big tech criticism

Facebook is being criticized for Libra and Amazon wants to with a big government cloud project.

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Tech giants Facebook and Amazon are reportedly spending a record amount of money for lobbying, as a result of increased scrutiny and pressure from Washington. While Facebook’s efforts are centered more around the crypto community, Amazon is following a much broader approach.

Facebook disclosed a spend of more than $4.1 million for lobbying to win support for its latest cryptocurrency known as Libra. The cryptocurrency proposed by Facebook had already met with skepticism from the president, congressional Democrats and other lawmakers of the nation.

In a recent hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, several Democratic lawmakers have called the social media giant’s proposal to be privacy-invasive and that it poses national security risks.

Also, Facebook is amidst a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. After the FTC voted to slap the company with a $5 billion fine, the final details of the settlement are yet to be announced.

Though Amazon is following a broader approach in its lobbying efforts, it is to be noted that the tech giant is eyeing for closing the $10 billion cloud services contract with the Pentagon known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. As of now, Microsoft and Amazon are the top contenders and finalists for this 10-year deal.

However, Amazon might now land in troubled waters as companies such as Oracle, have openly accused the company of negotiating a secret deal with the then-Department of Defense Official for winning the contract.

On top of it, President Trump had announced that he would call an investigation into the JEDI contract while some congressmen are pressing the president to not cause any “unnecessary delays.”

Amazon has hired Jeff Miller, one of Trump’s close allies to secure the JEDI contract by lobbying on aspects such as cybersecurity and technology services.

While Amazon and Facebook have doubled down on their spending for lobbying, Google, on the other hand, has cut down its lobbying efforts by ending relationships with at least 17 lobbyists. As of now, the company is reorganizing its global policy approach amidst growing regulations and threats around the world.

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