Microsoft, Other Big Tech Companies Top Contributors to Biden Campaign

Microsoft, Other Big Tech Companies Top Contributors to Biden Campaign
Logos of big tech platforms on a computer screen, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images)
Bowen Xiao
Big tech companies have been major financial backers of the Biden campaign this election cycle, according to data from OpenSecrets, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics and campaign finance records.
The top five contributors to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s candidate committee include Alphabet, which was the largest contributor; Microsoft Corp, the fourth-largest contributor; and Amazon, the fifth-largest contributor.

Alphabet contributed just under $1.9 million to the committee, Microsoft contributed $997,226, and Amazon gave $931,821.

Other major technology companies that made it to the top donors list for the 2020 cycle included Apple and Facebook. Microsoft in particular has played an extensive role in supporting Biden’s campaign, compared to other companies.

Microsoft’s senior executives have donated more to the Biden campaign during the primaries than any other large tech company, according to data from the Revolving Door Project, part of the Center for Economic & Policy Research (CERP).
Microsoft President Brad Smith also hosted a 2019 fundraiser for Biden in Medina, Washington, and was a big-dollar bundler—someone who helped raise more than $25,000 for the Biden campaign—according to Reuters. Smith had a public role during the Democratic National Convention as well,  similar to Amazon policy chief Jay Carney.

Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott and his wife have contributed more than $50,000 supporting committees helping Biden win, according to campaign finance records. Microsoft board member and co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman and his wife have also donated generously to the Biden campaign. Hoffman’s wife has contributed more than half a million dollars to the Biden victory fund.

Experts told The Epoch Times previously that a Biden–Harris administration might benefit big tech companies when it comes to antitrust policies and could signal a return to the friendly stance held during the Obama era toward Silicon Valley.
According to OpenSecrets, the contributions come from the companies’ own political action committees; their individual members, employees, or owners; or those individuals’ immediate families. 
There was no major technology company on the list of President Donald Trump’s candidate committee donors, according to OpenSecrets.

However, Microsoft’s Smith, whose donations have mostly helped Democrats, has made several contributions to Republicans, including a $15,000 donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to campaign finance records.

For the Trump campaign, the No. 1 campaign committee donor was the U.S. Postal Service, followed by the Department of Defense.

Microsoft and the Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by The Epoch Times.

Samantha Zager, the deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, said that Silicon Valley is “firmly in Joe Biden’s pocket.”

“These Big Tech Joe Biden donors are the same people who dictate the algorithms on social media websites, determining which points of view get heard and which get censored or removed,” Zager told The Epoch Times via email.

“If anyone is still questioning whether the Silicon Valley Mafia is firmly in Joe Biden’s pocket and actively working to stifle President Trump and conservative accounts, this should remove any doubt.”

Big Tech Scrutiny

The funding comes at a time when big tech companies face antitrust lawsuits and scrutiny from lawmakers.

Tech giants need to be held accountable for potential censorship practices, say Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who recently voted to subpoena the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook. Republicans want to question how the companies handled an Oct. 14 New York Post report about the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Three Republican senators on the judiciary committee told The Epoch Times last week that these companies need to be held responsible for their actions.
Meanwhile, an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Justice Department on Oct. 20 against Google’s monopoly appears to be a strong case, experts told The Epoch Times previously. The suit, which received bipartisan support, asserts that Alphabet Inc.’s Google has tried to maintain its status as a gatekeeper to the internet by using a number of interlocking businesses to shut out competitors, thereby securing itself as a monopoly.

Dozens of state attorneys general are probing the practices of Facebook and Google in separate cases amid broad concerns about the effects the companies have on competition and consumers. The Big Four tech companies—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—also face scrutiny by the House Judiciary Committee over potential anticompetitive behavior.

Reuters contributed to this report.
Bowen Xiao was a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
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