Lobbying: how GAFAM is putting pressure on Europe

Relating to expertise, the European Union’s agenda is presently very busy. A legislative course of has thus been initiated for the regulation of platforms with a view to guarantee higher competitors, or to battle in opposition to disinformation. Likewise, the outdated continent intends to higher regulate synthetic intelligence and keep away from abuses. Lastly, the kind of agency utility of the Normal Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR) is one other component more likely to trigger concern amongst giant expertise corporations.

Logically, the latter subsequently are inclined to affect the discussions in progress with a view to assert their pursuits. These practices, usually criticized, have rightly been the topic of of a report printed by the Company Europe Observatory and LobbyControl.

Lobbying or legislation of the strongest?

The researchers have been first in a position to observe that very giant quantities are spent on lobbying operations: 97 million euros per yr. A stage of spending that locations Tech forward of the pharmaceutical trade, fossil fuels, and even finance.

Ten giant corporations are carving out the lion’s share and we subsequently discover a good place: Google, Fb, Microsoft, Apple, Huawei, Amazon, IBM, Intel, Qualcomm and Vodafone, which spend 32 million euros per yr to attempt to affect European insurance policies.

Intimately, Google didn’t hesitate to spend 5.eight million euros to persuade the legislators of the outdated continent, just a little greater than Fb (5.5 million), Microsoft (5.Three million), in addition to ‘Apple (3.5 million), and Huawei (Three million).

Among the many different classes of this research, the authors word that the tech giants have a lobbying funds ” which exceeds by 75% that of smaller corporations within the digital trade “. In accordance with them, it is a concern as a result of it signifies that the richest corporations can impose their political positions, presenting themselves as defenders of the sector on the worldwide stage.

Lastly, the researchers word that this lobbying “ It additionally depends on funding from an enormous community of third events, together with suppose tanks, associations of SMEs and start-ups and authorized and financial consulting companies, to get its messages throughout. These hyperlinks are sometimes not disclosed, which masks potential biases and conflicts of curiosity. ».

Questioned, the events didn’t fail to react to the picture of Google which was expressed at Techcrunch :

Like different corporations that work with European establishments, we element our work within the EU Transparency Register and have clear insurance policies in place to guard the independence of the folks and organizations we sponsor, together with a obligation to reveal funding.

For its half, the European Fee additionally wished to recall its guidelines of transparency in lobbying. The people who find themselves interviewed are all recorded: ” Because of this solely folks registered within the transparency register can meet our major decision-makers. Details about these conferences is posted on-line and could be considered by anybody. », She specifies.