Meta Donated To Lobby To Fight Antitrust Bills?

A new report claims Meta not only bankrolled the American Edge Project, but may have also served as its founder.

new report from the The Tech Transparency Project (TTP) cites a 501(c)(4)’s 990 filing from AEP which shows the organization received a single $4 million donation between December 10, 2019, and October 31, 2020. That donation came around the same time Meta (then Facebook) told the Washington Post it contributed to AEP. Put together, the report’s authors argue these findings imply Meta not only bankrolls AEP, but may have also served as its founder.

TTP claims AEP spent somewhere around $5.4 million in ad placements just last year. Going further, TTP claims AEP—working on the behalf of Meta—commissioned IPSOS polls with the intended purpose of fooling politicians into believing their voters were opposed to antitrust reforms. One of those polls, which claimed Democrats would lose their political advantage if they pursued strong tech regulation, made its way onto an Axios PM newsletter as part of a sponsored post.

“With Facebook’s financial backing, American Edge Project has succeeded in establishing the specter of a grassroots, bipartisan façade to disguise its corporate goals,” the report’s authors write.

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