Donnerstag, 2. September 2021

Die Technik Giganten, Pharma Mafia, gibt hohe Geldsummen aus für Lobbying, Bestechung der EU Commission



The lobby network
Lobbying the EU

The lobby network: Big Tech's web of influence in the EU

As Big Tech’s market power has grown, so has its political clout.
Just as the EU tries to rein in the most problematic aspects of Big Tech – from disinformation, targeted advertising to excessive market power – the digital giants are lobbying hard to shape new regulations. 

We found a wide yet deeply imbalanced ‘universe’:

  • with 612 companies, groups and business associations lobbying the EU’s digital economy policies. Together, they spend over €97 million annually lobbying the EU institutions. This makes tech the biggest lobby sector in the EU by spending, ahead of pharma, fossil fuels, finance, and chemicals.

  • in spite of the varied number of players, this universe is dominated by a handful of firms. Just ten companies are responsible for almost a third of the total tech lobby spend: Vodafone, Qualcomm, Intel, IBM, Amazon, Huawei, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google spend more than €32 million making their voices heard in the EU.

  • out of all the companies lobbying the EU on digital policy, 20 per cent are US based, though this number is likely even higher. Less than 1 per cent have head offices in China or Hong Kong. This implies Chinese firms have so far not invested in EU lobbying quite as heavily as their US counterparts.

  • digital industry companies are not just lobbying individually. They are also collectively organised into business and trade associations which are themselves important lobby actors. The business associations lobbying on behalf of Big Tech alone have a lobbying budget that far surpasses that of the bottom 75 per cent of the companies in the digital industry.

Big Tech’s huge lobbying budgets have a significant impact on EU policy-makers, who find digital lobbyists knocking on their door on a regular basis. The lobbying surrounding proposals for a Digital Services pack, the EU’s attempt at reining in Big Tech, provides the perfect example of how the firms’ immense budget provides them with privileged access: Commission high-level officials held 271 meetings, 75 percent of them with industry lobbyists. Google and Facebook led the pack.

In spite of publicly supporting these proposals, meeting minutes, leaked lobbying strategies and position papers show Big Tech are still lobbying against them, trying their best to water down any hard rules. This lobby battle has now moved to the European Parliament and Council and, in spite of the lack of transparency, we start seeing Big Tech’s lobbying footprint in the EU capitals like Tallinn, Estonia.

Read the full report.


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