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In The First Months of Trump Era, Facebook And Apple Spent More On Lobbying Than They Ever Have (buzzfeed.com) 54

An anonymous reader shares a report: According to federal lobbying disclosures filed Thursday, Facebook and Apple set their all-time record high for spending in a single quarter. Facebook spent $3.2 million lobbying the federal government in the first months of the Trump era. During the same period last year, Facebook spent $2.8 million (about 15% less). The company lobbied both chambers of Congress, the White House, and six federal agencies on issues including high-tech worker visas, network neutrality, internet privacy, encryption, and international taxation. Facebook was the 12th-highest spender out of any company and second-highest in tech. [...] Apple spent $1.4 million, which is just $50,000 more than during the final months of the Obama presidency, when it set its previous record, but the most it has ever spent in a single quarter. Apple lobbied on issues including government requests for data, the regulation of mobile health apps, and self-driving cars. Google, once again, outspent every other technology company. It was 10th overall, tallying $3.5 million.
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In The First Months of Trump Era, Facebook And Apple Spent More On Lobbying Than They Ever Have

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  • also the next time apple is asked unlock a phone will apple put up a fight?

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      I bet the next time Apple is asked to unlock a phone the government won't ask nicely this time.

  • Buzzfeed (Score:4, Informative)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @11:34AM (#54276599) Homepage Journal

    Buzzfeed seems to only link their own articles in their stories, so it's not convenient to fact-check them. I would have prefered some other information on this subject and since there is none in the TFA, I will provide you with some more info on this lobbying dollout:

    https://www.wired.com/2016/11/... [wired.com]

    https://www.theguardian.com/us... [theguardian.com]

    http://www.cbronline.com/news/... [cbronline.com]

    From an obnoxious website that I won't link because of how totally obnoxious their javascript is; you may wish to read this anyway:

    f the surprising election win by President-elect Donald Trump left you feeling dispirited, you may be looking for a way to take action.
    One way you could do so is donating money or time to causes you believe stand against Trump's politics. Conversely, you could hold back your money â" by boycotting companies and/or corporate executives that stand against your beliefs.
    As of mid-September, no CEO of a Fortune 100 company supported Trump by donating to his campaign.
    But in other ways, and in the time since, a few big companies have shown support for the president-elect â" directly or indirectly.
    Here are five examples.
    New Balance
    The day after the election, Matthew LeBretton, vice president of public affairs for the sneaker brand New Balance, told a Wall Street Journal reporter: "The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly with President-elect Donald Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction."
    After that message went out, angry people on Twitter shared photos showing them destroying or trashing their New Balance shoes.
    In response, New Balance issued a statement to Sole Collector clarifying its position.
    "As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the United States, New Balance has a unique perspective on trade and trade policy in that we want to make more shoes in the United States, not less," the statement reads. "New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump prior to Election Day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today."
    Yuengling
    On a final campaign swing through Pennsylvania at the end of October, Trump's son Eric stopped by the Yuengling Brewery in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
    Richard "Dick" Yuengling Jr., who is 73 and the fifth-generation owner of the nation's oldest beer company, gave him a tour.
    "Our guys are behind your father," Yuengling said, the Reading Eagle reported. "We need him in there."
    Eric Trump promised a Trump presidency would help businesses like Yuengling, a $550 million company with breweries in Pottsville and East Norwegian Township in Pennsylvania and Tampa, Florida.
    "Maybe your dad will build a hotel in Pottsville, or serve Yuengling in his hotels," Yuengling said, jokingly, according to the Eagle.
    Following the visit, there were calls on Twitter for a consumer boycott of the beermaker.
    Home Depot
    Kenneth Langone, one of the co-founders of Home Depot, has been publicly supporting Trump since May.
    After supporting GOP presidential candidates New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and then Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Langone settled on Trump.
    "And you want to know something?" Langone said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" in May. "I think he'll do a hell of a good job. At least I'm hoping."
    Langone even doubled down after Trump bragged about sexual assault in the bus video leaked in October.
    When asked for comment about the Langone's support, Stephen Holmes, the director of corporate communications for Home Depot said: "The Home Depot nor our CEO endorse Presidential candidates. Ken is a co-founder, and was once on our board of direc

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      So basically there are 5 companies that "support" Donald Trump? And by support I mean say nice things about him not give him big payouts like Hilliary was getting? Hard to boycott nobody. The left already dumped all the hate they could on Hobby Lobby and they just shrugged it off. Most of their business is from people who think Trump is a little too far left. I think this shit is hilarious. Trump doesn't really owe anyone a damn thing except a bunch of redneck right wingers and a few people in the mid

  • Did You Vote Yet? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday April 21, 2017 @11:50AM (#54276691) Homepage Journal

    Now I'm wondering if Facebook's "Did you vote yet?" campaign last November was a last gasp of thinking that the system is actually democratic before just knuckling down and paying for favorable treatment or if by then they were already participating as part of the system that keeps the People cowed into thinking that their vote is a symbol of freedom rather than one of control.

    Perhaps as these companies broaden out to be real multi-nationals and they gain experience with governments around the world, they're becoming astutely aware of how commonplace bribery and corruption is and that helps them lift the veil on the reality of DC politics.

    We can not like it and not blame them for doing what it takes to survive at the same time. "Blame the system, not the player," as they say.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      On the one hand, is expect their lobbying budget to grow no matter who won. They are growing companies after all.

      Trump and the Republicans gets special attention because of their policies on the internet and science. Also because Trump is relatively easy to influence - Shi Jinping made him do a 180 on NK in just ten minutes!

  • No more of these dime a dozen problems caused by cheap bribery, I only want to deal with massive high dollar issues caused by bribery!

  • So many pockets to fill, so little time.
  • Seems like the entire spine of the executive branch is open to making deals and being persuaded. Getting in there first to his brain and setting the boundaries of the conversation going forward was very smart. No wonder the president thinks he's such an easy to get along with guy. If you paint a picture of a dark world, and present the lightbulb as the only way to brighten it, you're a genius in his world.
  • At least be honest about it. It's bribery legalized.
  • Please stop it. There are plenty of places to express your political point of view - slashdot is not one of those.

  • This, in my opinion, has less to do with a Trump Presidency and more to do with both houses of Congress being held by the same majority. Where there previously was gridlock, there now is a hope for legislation actually passing at a decent volume. Why spend money on a locked congress getting next to nothing done, wait until there is some ability for action.

    That being said, I do also think the content of legislation comes into play as well (tax code, H1-B).

  • From the last sentence of the summary:

    Google, once again, outspent every other technology company. It was 10th overall, tallying $3.5 million.

    Why was this not in the title?

  • ... at least its all out in the open now.

  • Where Obama was fairly forward-looking and Hillary appeared to have a similar outlook; 45 is overtly hostile towards the technology sector and its interests in general; and the Bay Area and Silicon Valley in particular. Given said hostility on the part of the executive branch, it does make sence that Google, Facebook, Apple, and company, would look to buying themselves some congresscritters as a defensive move. Perilous times, and all that.

    It's very far from an ideal situation. But tech has suffered in the

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