THE European Union has been holding meetings with hundreds of big tech firms. It is revealed the industry is piling millions of dollars into lobbying EU officials every year to influence the agenda for internet rules in Europe.
The news comes as a recent report from Corporate Europe Observatory and Lobby Control group stated how an astonishing 612 big tech firms, including Facebook, Amazon and Google, are paying an estimated $100million a year to influence policymakers in the European Commission as they sit in on vital meetings about internet rules in Europe.
Reacting to the report, multiple people give their views. Agustín Reyna, Director for Legal and Economic Affairs at the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), said: “What is most striking is how Big Tech is trying to control the narrative around regulating digital markets and services, through its extensive use of think-tanks, industry groups, high-level names and consultancies and academic research. With big bucks and a towering presence, Big Tech is trying hard to prevent the emergence of EU rules that will force them to change the way they operate in Europe.”
Green MEP Alexandra Geese reacted, saying that it “is unacceptable how tech companies dominate the public debate on digital legislation, especially DSA/DMA, through their direct access to the European Commission and legislators, as well as through think tanks and academic institutions funded by them. Seemingly ready to settle for legislation and to cooperate with the authorities, they steer the debate towards topics that don’t question their business model.”
The MEP, a shadow rapporteur on the DSA, added that we “need more independent experts in academia: even for lawmakers it is difficult to find expert advice by academic institutions that is not funded by tech. This is not in the best interest of our citizens. “