Brussels (Brussels Morning) A study conducted by non-profit organisations Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and LobbyControl pointed to US tech giants as top lobbyists in the EU.
It listed Google, Facebook and Microsoft as the three largest lobbying spenders in the EU, according to DW reporting on Tuesday.
The study was released as the EU discusses plans to rein in tech giants through the Digital Services and the Digital Markets acts.
“The rising lobby firepower of big tech and the digital industry as a whole mirrors the sectors’ huge and growing role in society,” authors of the study pointed out.
“It is remarkable and should be a cause of concern that the platforms can use this firepower to ensure their voices are heard — over countervailing and critical voices — in the debate over how to construct new rules for digital platforms,” they note.
The study shows that 612 entities in the tech sector spend close to 100 million euro annually on efforts to shape digital economy policies in the EU, with the authors pointing out that the sum “dwarfs all other private sector lobbying spending.”
The non-profits note that Google spends around 5.75 million euro annually on lobbying in the EU, followed by Facebook with 5.5 million, Microsoft with 5.25 million, Apple with 3.5 million, Huawei with 3 million and Amazon with 2.75 million.
Comments from tech giants
“We have clear policies in place to protect the independence of the people and organisations we sponsor, including a requirement to disclose funding,” Google asserted in an email to Reuters.
Microsoft claims that it seeks “to be a constructive and transparent partner to European policymakers.”
The study warns that lobbyists participated in roughly 75% of 270 meetings that EC officials held on the draft laws.
The EC was “open to meeting anyone who wishes to speak to us,” according to an EC spokesperson who added “the Commission does not and will not control who requests meetings, nor how often.”