What do you mean, EU?! Global corporations spend €100 million a year to influence Brussels’ agenda.
THE European Union is meeting with hundreds of big tech companies after it was exposed that the industry spends millions of dollars each year lobbying EU officials to change internet legislation.
The news comes after a recent report by the Corporate Europe Observatory and Lobby Control group revealed that 612 major tech companies, including Facebook, Amazon, and Google, are paying an estimated $100 million per year to influence policymakers at the European Commission by sitting in on key meetings about internet rules in Europe. The startling figures come as internet law expert Yair Cohen cautioned that if corporations continue to exert too much control over Europe’s leaders, severe restrictions on freedom of speech and democracy will result.
Mr Cohen told RT that the concept of internet corporations spending such a large amount of money on lobbying in the EU is “very terrifying to be honest.”
These firms are lobbying not to “help their customers,” but to “avoid being held accountable for their activities,” according to the law expert.
According to the research, lobbyists attended 75% of the 271 sessions held by the European Council to address tech issues and plans to bring in new legislation to reign in the big giants by 2020.
Mr Cohen went on to say that there is “no doubt” that the increased participation of internet corporations in European and other nations’ political systems is “a major threat to democracy.”
In a highly frightening prediction, the legal expert warned that these firms might “decide who will be permitted to speak” and “can exclude politicians from their platforms.”
He finished by stating that there is a “very big possibility” that internet giants will have “near-total control over free expression.”
Mr Cohen’s stern warning comes after the Corporate Europe Observatory and Lobby Control revealed that Google spends an average of $5.8 million each year on lobbying to influence EU policy.
While Facebook spends an estimated $5.5 million per year on EU lobbying, Microsoft spends an average of $5.3 million per year.
In an effort to avoid approaching EU proposals that could limit their authority within the EU, Apple contributes $3.5 million and Amazon contributes $2.8 million. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”