Ai technology. Concept of artificial intelligence. Blue and dots. Photo from Canva

From Amazon to AI: unveiling Big Tech lobby battles

Dear readers,

Today, workers, trade unionists and members of civil society organisations are joining strikes and actions across over 30 countries to challenge Amazon's power. So CEO, SOMO, and LobbyControl are taking a look at the company's lobby declarations, to reveal how it wields power and influence in the EU. Find out more in our new Amazon profile here.

Talking of digital behemoths, last week we launched an article explaining ‘Byte by byte’ how Big Tech has undermined the EU Artificial Intelligence Act.

The AI Act is an attempt to reign in some of the risks to fundamental rights posed by AI systems. Yet, our new research shows how the Big Tech lobby has been trying to derail the negotiation process by meeting EU commissioners and heads of state ahead of trilogue meetings. 

While the European Parliament has introduced some requirements to regulate the so-called ‘foundation models’, such as ChatGPT, Big Tech has pushed to leave these systems unregulated. This tactic is proving successful: EU institutions have already agreed that tech companies can self-assess if an AI system poses a high risk.

On the subject of successful corporate lobbying, sadly this Wednesday, the European Parliament failed to approve the European law to regulate pesticide use, also known as SUR in EU-bubble acronyms. Unfortunately, this didn't come as a surprise: the law has been under attack from the very start.

Our article Sabotaging EU Pesticide Reduction Law exposes the pesticide industry lobby's reckless assault on biodiversity and health. For example, pesticide lobby groups, working hand in hand with big farm lobby Copa-Cogeca, have been hammering self-funded "impact studies" to delay the law. We found new examples of these at a national level from Slovenia, Poland, and Germany.

As you can see, shining a light on the exercise of corporate power is more important than ever. Thanks for your continued interest in and support of our work. 

In solidarity,

The CEO Comms Team

- Marcella, Joana, and Kat