Tech giant Facebook
Late on Thursday, Alphabet
Facebook's level of spending isn't surprising, especially within the context of 2020, which saw the Coronavirus pandemic overlapping with years of political tension coming to a head during the 2020 Presidential Election, among a myriad of other factors.
As the largest social media firm in the U.S., Facebook had a pivotal role to play in both the pandemic and the election and received a great deal of scrutiny, primarily around its content moderation policies. Most of Facebook's lobbying money was likely spent putting out various fires on capitol hill and trying to stave off approaching regulators.
In general, the government's attitude towards tech companies like Amazon and Facebook seems to be souring. Of the top five tech companies, all but Microsoft have been summoned to capitol hill to meet lawmakers. Of those four, all came away having been labeled as "having monopoly power" by Democratic lawmakers.
With both the House and Senate now in control and recently sworn-in Democratic President Joe Biden now seated in the Oval Office, this trend will likely continue into 2021 and likely at a grander scale. With Biden poised to seat progressive favorites and stauncher regulation advocates such as Gary Gensler, who has been nominated to serve as the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook, as well as other tech giants, will likely face a more challenging road ahead with governmental relations.