Social Media, Facebook, Technology

Social Media, Facebook

Facebook spent US$5.1mil lobbying as whistleblower leaks spark scrutiny

Zuck Buck.

21/10/2021 11:05:00 AM

Zuck Buck.

Facebook has ramped up its lobbying spending, as it faces down fresh scrutiny from US lawmakers, following damaging revelations by its whistle-blower.

Facebook Inc. spent US$5.1mil (RM21.21mil) on lobbying in the third quarter, again boosting its Washington expenditures as internal documents leaked by a whistle-blower sparked fresh allegations of misleading Congress, the public and securities regulators.

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The social media company’s lobbying outlays represented a 6.7% increase from last quarter and a 3.9% increase compared to the third quarter of 2020. The amount outpaced other technology giants like Inc, Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Facebook is facing challenges in Washington on several fronts, including fresh scrutiny from lawmakers considering legislation to strengthen privacy rules for internet companies and protections for children online. The whistle-blower’s revelations allege that Facebook understood the risks its platforms posed to users and society at large, while downplaying those risks in public.

The whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that the company and its executives misled investors.Lawmakers are also working on bipartisan antitrust legislation that would have serious implications for Facebook’s business practices. And the Menlo Park, California, company is facing a challenge from the Federal Trade Commission over its previous acquisitions of the photo-sharing platform Instagram and the messaging service Whatsapp.

The third quarter lobbying disclosures, due Wednesday, show that Amazon spent $4.7mil (RM19.54mil), slightly less than the previous quarter. Google spent US$2.6 mil (RM10.81mil), up 24.9% from the second quarter. Microsoft also spent US$2.6 mil (RM10.81mil), a 6.5% increase from last quarter. – Bloomberg

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