Apple nearly doubled its anti-EU regulation spending in 2021

"Lobbying in times of trilogues..."

From "Big Tech’s last minute attempt to tame EU tech rules" posted Saturday by the Europe Corporate Observatory:

A new set of lobby documents released by the European Commission and Swedish Government via freedom of information requests, shows intense corporate lobbying to shape the final stage EU discussions of new tech rules.

Google, Apple, Facebook, Spotify and others jumped on the trilogues process to try to neutralise the EU Parliament’s proposals to limit surveillance ads and expand external scrutiny of how the platforms’ systems amplify or demote content. They also sough to increase the companies’ future leverage to avoid market obligations.

The lobby documents confirm fears that trilogue secrecy only benefits rich and well-connected lobbyists. The EU Institutions and national governments must take stock and finally make the trilogues process transparent and open to the public.

My take: What are these trilogues that has Apple outspending its lobbying peers? From Wikipedia...

A formal trilogue meeting, more commonly known as a trilogue, is a type of meeting used in the European Union (EU) legislative process. It takes its name from a literary form, the trilogue, which means a conversation with three parties.

Trilogue negotiations are not provided for in EU treaties. They are used if the Council of the European Union does not agree to the amendments proposed by the European Parliament at the second reading. In this case, formal trilogue negotiations are carried out within the framework of a conciliation committee. A trilogue is understood as an equally composite tripartite meeting between those involved in the legislative process of the EU institutions. These bodies are the European Commission (EC), the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. The European Commission takes on the mediating function.

Critics argue that the use of trilogues is detrimental to transparency in the legislative process. They believe the EC uses this process to bypass public transparency and the supposed opposition the proposed legislation would cause. Once the Conciliation committee agrees on a text, neither the Parliament nor Council are able to change it, although in their respective final vote (third reading) they can reject the whole text.

And we think American legislative procedures are hard to follow!


  1. David Emery said:
    Don’t forget, the European Parliament has no ‘right of origination’. It can only debate what is put before it from the European Council, whose members are appointed by the member nation governments.

    April 24, 2022
  2. Michael Goldfeder said:
    An elementary school student government has more organizational vitality than this mess. This must be where Vestager got her start. It explains a lot.

    April 24, 2022

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