Why Has Amazon Spent $50 Million on Lobbying?


Jan. 31 2019, Updated 11:48 a.m. ET

$53 million lobbying expenditure in five years

Amazon (AMZN) spent $14.4 million on government lobbying activities in the United States in 2018, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. In the last five years, Amazon has spent more than $53 million on lobbying with record spending in each of those years. Of Amazon’s $14.4 million lobbying expenditure in 2018, about $14.2 million was related to the company’s retail business, while the rest was related to the cloud computing business. Retail is Amazon’s largest operation, while cloud is its most profitable business.

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Amazon’s areas of interest in government lobbying

Amazon has been lobbying the government on a wide range of issues including immigration, healthcare plans, and food safety issues, Reuters reported. In healthcare, Amazon has been working to shake up the health insurance sector. A year ago, Amazon teamed up with J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) on a program through which they seek to reduce their employee healthcare costs. In October last year, Bloomberg reported that Amazon’s Washington lobbying also covered issues related to taxation of online sales.

Online retailers’ lobbying expenditures

Amazon is far from being the only retailer spending big on government lobbying. Walmart (WMT), Alibaba (BABA), and eBay (EBAY) spent $6.1 million, $2.7 million, and $1.1 million on government lobbying in the United States in 2018, respectively. Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) spent $21.2 million and $12.6 million on Washington lobbying in 2018, respectively.


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