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Google Top Spender on Lobbying in US, Spent $21.7 Million in 2018

Amazon and Facebook also reached record levels of lobbying expenditures in 2018

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Google has been the top spender on lobbying for two consecutive years. Pixabay

Tech giant Google spent $21.7 million on lobbying efforts last year to influence lawmakers as the government and regulators sought great scrutiny from tech companies related to users’ privacy and unfair market practices.

According to a CNBC report on Sunday, Google has been the top spender on lobbying for two consecutive years.

“Amazon and Facebook also reached record levels of lobbying expenditures in 2018,” said the report, quoting the Centre for Responsive Politics.

Amazon spent $14.4 million on lobbying while Facebook spent $12.6 million. Microsoft spent $9.6 million and Apple $6.68 million in 2018.

Google, Lobbying, US
Tech giant Google spent $21.7 million on lobbying efforts last year to influence lawmakers .VOA

In a stern warning to tech giants earlier this month, the US House’s anti-trust committee opened probes into Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and other firms to determine if they prevent competition and hurt consumers.

“The open Internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler was quoted as saying.

“But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications,” he added.

According to The New York Times, the Department of Justice (DoJ) will handle Apple and Google while the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will take on Facebook and Amazon.

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“Silicon Valley has faced fierce criticism in recent years over disinformation, privacy breaches and the misuse of data. President Trump regularly criticises the power of the companies, as do several Democrats running for president,” said the report.

Facebook is already under investigation by the US FTC over its handling of user data. The social networking platform is expecting a fine of up to $5 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the FTC previously closed an investigation of Google without taking action but now the DOJ will take another look into Google’s practices in Search and other areas. (IANS)

Next Story

Cyber-Security Project of Google Named ‘Chronicle’ Imploads in Trouble

Originally announced as an independent start up in early 2018 by Google's parent company Alphabet, Chronicle was was supposed to "revolutionise" cybersecurity

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Chronicle
One of the reasons why Chronicle was folded back into Google is the fact that staff compensation became a sore point. Pixabay

Cybersecurity project of Google named “Chronicle” is imploding in trouble and some employees feel its management “abandoned and betrayed” the original vision, media reports said.

Chronicle’s CEO and Chief Security Officer have already left and the Chief Technology Officer is leaving later this month while other key officials are eyeing an exit, according to the Motherboard.

In June this year, Chronicle lost its status as an independent entity when it formally joined Google to become part of its Cloud security offerings.

One of the reasons why it was folded back into Google is the fact that staff compensation became a sore point, because Google reportedly didn’t adjust Chronicle staffers’ salaries and stock packages, which were lower than those for other Google employees.

Originally announced as an independent start up in early 2018 by Google’s parent company Alphabet, Chronicle was was supposed to “revolutionise” cybersecurity.

Chronicle
Cybersecurity project of Google named “Chronicle” is imploding in trouble and some employees feel its management “abandoned and betrayed” the original vision. Pixabay

It was supposed to be an independent start up with its own contracts and policies — at least, that’s what CEO Stephen Gillett wrote when the business was launched.

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Employees have left because of a combination of Chronicle losing its original vision, a distant CEO, a lack of clarity about Chronicle’s future, and disappointment that the start-up has been swallowed into Google, according to interviews with five current and former employees, the Motherboard report added. (IANS)