Via America’s Lawyer: Tech giants like Facebook and Google have increased their lobbying efforts as they try to avoid any new regulations for their corrupt industries. Mike Papantonio and Trial Magazine Executive Editor Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Tech giants like Facebook and Google have increased their lobbying efforts as they try to avoid any new regulations for their corrupt industries. And so what’s happening, I mean, you know, look, would you ever think of Google or Facebook as the term corrupt? You’re seeing it all the time. I mean, that’s just not us saying that, you’re seeing it in the general media.

But 15 years ago you never would have said, you would have never associated the word corrupt with those two industries, but right now they feel like they have such a problem that you’ve got, you’ve got them spending $20 million, $15 million, $8 million, $18 million a year just to lobby to overcome the attack that they’re under. What’s your take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  I mean, just to point out, imagine somebody waking up from a 10 year coma today and turning this on, saying what? What’s wrong with Facebook? But, but it is that and they understand it as does Google as does Microsoft and Apple. That’s why all of their totals in lobbying for the last year have gone up. They understand that law makers from both sides of the aisle, this is a good bipartisan issue that they’re trying to work on here.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, it is.

Farron Cousins:                  They know that, listen, they’re gonna hit us with these antitrust laws because, because you know, I’m Facebook. I’m a social media site. I’m a news organization now. I’m an advertising agency. I am everything and that can’t exist under antitrust laws.

Mike Papantonio:             And Amazon is a great example of that.

Farron Cousins:                  Amazon is too, perfect.

Mike Papantonio:             Where, where you’ve got, you’ve got these, you’ve got these folks that are putting people out of business all over America right now for one thing or another. They’re, one thing we’re really seeing is the, the news industry is going bust. I mean, you’ve got Gannett laying off people by the hundreds. You’ve got a Buzzfeed great example. You’ve got Yahoo trying to figure out how are they going to hold on to the industry that they have.

They really can’t because you’ve got, you’ve got Google and Facebook gobbling up and Amazon gobbling up so much of the market out there. So I, you know, as I look at this, there’s two things they want to accomplish. When I talk about Google, I talk about Facebook or, or Microsoft. Microsoft, don’t forget Microsoft is, you know, owns part of MSNBC. So what, what we’re, what we’re looking at is we’re looking at not just them fighting antitrust, they’re fighting any effort to, to move towards regulatory at all.

They will, they don’t want regulatory to come in and have anything to do with this. And I thought this is interesting. Maybe you can answer this real quickly. They say we have to spend money lobbying, lobbying, and the question then becomes what is it that they’re lobbying? What is it that they’re trying to accomplish? And the answer is obvious. We want to be bigger, we want to make more profits. And the old days of us being something that’s so integral to social media is quickly disappearing.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.