President Trump regularly lashes out against Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos on Twitter, alleging that the company is hurting retailers and that Mr. Bezos uses The Washington Post, which he owns, to protect his interests. But to make its voice heard in Washington, Amazon has ramped up spending on lobbying and this year has hired a number of policy heavyweights in areas key to its future.
Amazon has spent $6.2 million on lobbying in the first half of this year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. That figure puts it on pace to surpass the record $11.4 million it spent on lobbying in 2016. Amazon’s lobbying operation now matches and, in some cases, outspends other tech and retail giants such as Facebook, Apple and Walmart (see below chart). That’s a turnabout after years in which Amazon’s Washington lobbying was a lean operation with just a handful of staffers.