In the US, GAFAMs draft legislation and impose their views on the American government
News JVTech In the US, GAFAMs draft legislation and impose their views on the American government
GAFAM has very strong leverage, and they recently proved it once again by withdrawing two American bills that threatened their interests.
The GAFAMs win a major victory against the American government
Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft. These 5 giants create a powerful lobby in the US and around the world: GAFAM. If these companies are competitors in the market, they know how to put aside their differences to jointly defend their interests, and thus pressure governments to introduce legislation that suits them or abolish those that concern them most.
That’s exactly what happened in the US very recently with the 2023 spending bill introduced to Congress on December 20th. Covering a wide range of topics, it plans to allocate 1.7 trillion dollars in public spending for the next year.
Among all the proposals in this text, we find an additional $44.9 billion envelope for support to Ukraine, measures to further complicate the violent struggle of election results, and funds to deal with the increasing number of natural disasters. But this is not all, and the technology is also at an intersection with, for example, the ban on downloading TikTok for all government agents.
But if what is in the final version of the proposed text is interesting, what is not is just as obvious. Thus, two proposals aimed at reducing the power of GAFAM were completely lost…
The GAFAMs spent more than $100 million to redeem the two promissory notes
The spending bill proposed in the US Congress last Tuesday is a so-called “omnibus” bill that brings together many different and not necessarily related topics. According to Bloomberg, it was supposed to contain two very important bills. The largest legislative effort in 30 years To limit the power of GAFAM. Despite the support of the White House and the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, they have completely disappeared, and this is a huge victory for the Silicon Valley giants.
These two articles of the law were intended to prevent GAFAM from promoting its services on its website. For example, we can think of Google highlighting Gmail, Google Drive and other elements of its suite. And that’s not all, but it would force companies like Apple to open up their iPhones to app stores other than their own, thus reducing their monopoly on the device.
Two proposals were lost thanks to significant lobbying by both elected Democrats and Republicans. The CEOs of Apple and Google, Tim Cook and Sundar Pinchai, also put their stones in the building. Thus, in one year, the GAFAMs spent $100 million on targeted advertising, promotion of academic work, and various and sundry gifts to achieve this goal. According to the Wall Street Journal.
The genius of the GAFAM lobbyists was also to find the right way to talk to each camp. For Democrats, the privacy-destruction argument was made, while Republicans won instead with arguments about online freedom of expression. Regardless of camp, the message was ultimately the same: you need us to protect what’s important to you.
It was during the midterm elections that everything accelerated. Bloomberg, for example, points out that “In a number of states where Democratic candidates are struggling, ads have flooded the television networks highlighting the dangers of these reforms. They have had their goal: several candidates have asked their parties not to pass the laws before the November elections.”
And that’s not all! Google and Amazon have supported dozens of small entrepreneurs to help their businesses in Washington, D.C., showing how important GAFAM services are to them. However, their objectivity may be questioned, especially after CNBC revealed that some SME associations funded by GAFAM are vouching to speak for people who have never heard of them…
And, of course, the threat from the East was also introduced, GAFAM said that Beijing would be more than happy with these laws, Chinese companies would not have to comply with them, and that these flagships of American industry would be hindered.
On the other hand, the technology companies that support these laws also tried to make their point by lobbying. But when it comes to Big Tech, tools won’t be enough. Against GAFAM’s $36.4 million spent in the first months of 2022, pro-legislation groups spent “only” $193,000. A very tough competition to face because his means are important. Nothing is over, but the arrival of a new Congress that is even more divided than before will make it very difficult to pass such a bipartisan measure.