When people think of campaign finance reform, it usually is around large donations to individual candidates. But there is big money flowing into DC with a broader target. This Market Watch piece discusses the recent numbers from lobbying efforts by FAANG (Facebook Amazon Apple Netflix Google). Well, actually three of them are up (Facebook, Amazon, and Apple), while Netflix is up from last year but down from their 2015 high and Google is down, due presumably to a reorganization of their lobbying division.
With ramped-up rhetoric around security and privacy on all sides, and swirling talk of the anti-trust hammer possibly being swung by the current administration, it is no surprise that the big tech companies are trying to increase their presence and influence in government circles. They already have immense clout in the private sector (e.g. Sonos suing over claimed IP infringement by Google). It would be interesting to compare the landscape today with previous industries that flirted with monopolies, though digital is a different beast than traditional manufacturing or services. Time will tell.