According to a report from the New York Times, four of the biggest technology companies are amassing an army of lobbyists as they prepare for what could be an epic fight over their futures.
Initially slow to develop a presence in Washington, the tech giants, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, have rapidly built themselves into some of the largest players in the influence and access industry as they confront threats from the Trump administration and both parties on Capitol Hill.
The four companies spent a combined US$55 million on lobbying last year, doubling their combined spending of US$27.4 million in 2016, and some are spending at a higher rate so far this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks lobbying and political contributions. That puts them on a par with long-established lobbying powerhouses like the defense, automobile, and banking industries.
Of the 238 people registered to lobby for the four companies in the first three months of this year, about 75% formerly served in the government or on political campaigns, according to an analysis of lobbying and employment records. Many worked in offices or for officials who could have a hand in deciding the course of the new governmental scrutiny.