It used to be Wall Street aka the banks which to dominate the lobbying industry. It appears that now there is a shift of power to technology companies such as Google or Facebook. Recently, Google has been involved in a curious case, involving scholar Barry Lynn.
Is Google putting political pressure on the officials?
Barry Lynn worked for 15 years at the New America Foundation and his job was to study the power of the technology companies. He was recently fired and to his belief, this was due to Google not liking his last reports. His last research involved regulating Google, Amazon, Facebook and other tech companies as monopolies.
Some leaked emails show that New America Foundation was concerned that Lynn’s criticism will possibly endanger their future funding. In one such email, the foundation’s president, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote that the foundation is making efforts in building a closer relationship with Google. However, she denies that was the reason behind letting Lynn go.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has donated so far 21milion $ to New America Foundation.
How is this possible?
For years the thinktank has been conducted by Eric Schmidt, Alphabet’s executive chairman. All this takes place in the Washington’s K Street corridor at the White House. Apart from think tanks, the place is full of corporate representative and very well trained lawyers.
In 2016, companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft spent 9 million $ on lobbying, but they were not always so well received as now.
These tech giants are not spending their money just to be part of the Washington elite. They are doing so to protect their assets and to maintain their sphere of influence.
Jonathan Taplin, author of the Move Fast Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy declared that in his opinion politics is just a mere transaction for these tech companies.