Amazon spent $14.2m on government lobbying last year as influence grows

Amazon lobbied more government entities last year than any other tech giant aside from Google, breaking records for its spending.

According to data published by bipartisan research organisation Open Secrets, Amazon spent $14,190,000 (£10,841869), rising from $13 million in 2017 and marking its highest recorded year of spending to date.

The site also acquired federal records revealing that Amazon tried to influence the government on a number of issues, including information technology, taxes, consumer product safety, defence, copyright and even immigration.

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This marks a near tripling of its spending over the last five years, having spent a relatively modest $4.94 million in 2014.

Bloomberg reported that Amazon’s attempts to influence policy in the US went beyond throwing its considerable cash reserves into lobby groups, creating new trade groups to fit their agenda, sending senior executives to influence antitrust enforcers and pinching senior staff from the government.

This includes the likes of President Obama’s former press secretary Jay Carney, who now acts as Amazon’s senior vice president for global corporate affairs, overseeing the influential Washington policy office.

Meanwhile Amazon is understood to have been persuading federal agencies to adopt its cloud computing services, hoping to power a government-wide ecommerce platform for all official government purchases.

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