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Meta had its largest lobbying quarter ever

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Meta had its largest lobbying quarter ever within the first few months of 2024, spending a document $7.6 million participating with the US authorities, in line with its public lobbying filing launched final week.

It’s a 64 p.c leap from its spending within the fourth quarter of 2023 and represents greater than a 3rd of what Meta spent on lobbying everything of final 12 months. The blockbuster quarter underscores simply how a lot pending laws is geared toward Meta and its friends — on all the things from data privacy, kids online safety, and content moderation.

Nonetheless, Meta says the sharp uptick is essentially as a result of compensation for its lobbying group. “The rise in Meta’s lobbying expenditures is due principally to working bills, together with adjustments to the timing of the biannual compensation construction and an elevated inventory worth,” Meta spokesperson Daniel Roberts mentioned in a press release to The Verge.

Meta’s spending within the final quarter is an outlier amongst its huge tech friends. It greater than doubled the spend of Apple, Google, and Microsoft within the first quarter, which all spent nearer to $2 or $3 million. Amazon spent the second most behind Meta at $4.4 million.

Probably the most vital piece of tech laws to move just lately was a invoice that would ban TikTok unless its China-based parent company, ByteDance, divests it inside a 12 months — a regulation that Meta stands to immediately profit from if one in every of its closest opponents is pressured to exit the US market. However Meta’s lobbying disclosure doesn’t particularly listing that invoice as one it engaged on or the international assist package deal by which it handed. Meta’s Roberts confirmed the corporate didn’t foyer on the so-called Defending People from Overseas Adversary Managed Functions Act.

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