Facebook and Amazon Boosted Lobbying Spending in 2020

WASHINGTON—Big technology companies are bracing for a new administration and new scrutiny of their businesses with a time-tested strategy: opening their pocketbooks.

Facebook Inc. and Amazon . com Inc. topped all other U.S. companies in federal lobbying expenditures last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the most recent disclosures. It was the second straight year they outspent all other companies, including stalwarts such as AT&T Inc. and Boeing Co.

Facebook, facing federal and state antitrust lawsuits as well as a series of hearings summoning CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Washington, spent nearly $20 million in 2020, up nearly 18% from the previous year.

Amazon, which saw CEO Jeff Bezos testify before Congress for the first time and continued pressing to expand its business as a government contractor, spent about $18 million last year, up about 11% from 2019 spending.

“We’ve been clear that the internet needs updated regulations, which is why we’ll continue voicing our support for new rules that address today’s realities online,” a Facebook spokesman said.

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