By Kirsten Korosec
April 5, 2018

President Donald Trump continues to criticize Amazon, placing a new level of pressure on the e-commerce giant. And Amazon appears ready for the fight, according to data reviewed and compiled by the Financial Times.

Amazon has doubled the number of in-house lobbyists it employs to 28 since Trump was elected, according to data collected from the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database.

A review of data collected by OpenSecrets.org also shows more than a dozen of those in-house lobbyists have previously worked as legislative aides, advisors, or counsel to members of Congress or as staff for Senate committees, the White House (in previous administration), and the Federal Communications Commission.

The company founded by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, has also ramped up total lobbying spending. Amazon spent four times more money on external and internal lobbyists in the last quarter of 2017 than it did in the same period in 2014, the FT reported.

Amazon spent $13 million on lobbying 2017, a 15% increase from the previous year, according to data Fortune gathered from OpenSecrets.org.

Amazon recently made changes to its roster of outside lobbying firm. The company ended its contract in March with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Squire Patton Boggs, Bloomberg reported. Amazon replaced the two firms with Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc.

Amazon made the changes about a week before Trump ramped up his public criticisms via Twitter against the company. Trump has tweeted numerous times in the past week, accusing the $700 billion company of ripping off American taxpayers and benefiting through a deal with the U.S. Postal Service. The president has also blamed Amazon for the decline of smaller brick-and-mortar retailers.

 

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