TotalEnergies, Crédit Agricole, Engie… Who spends the most on lobbying among the CAC 40 groups?

BFM Business has analyzed HATVP data to establish the ranking of the CAC 40 companies that spend the most on lobbying fees. TotalEnergies comes first with a bill of 2.5 million euros.

Which large companies are most active in the corridors of ministries and the aisles of Parliament? According to figures published by the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) and compiled by BFM Business, 33 of the CAC 40 companies incurred lobbying expenses in 2021 with the government, members of the National Assembly, of the Senate or of the principal administrative authorities.

In total, these groups have spent nearly 23 million euros* to carry out their influence operations in the public sphere, a relatively stable figure since 2018, when the obligation to declare representations came into force. ‘interests. CAC 40 companies have declared 340 lobbying “actions” for the year 2021: organization of meetings, transmission of reports, events, conferences, etc.

TotalEnergies at the top of the ranking

In detail, the intensity of the pressure differs greatly from one group to another. At the very top of the ranking, TotalEnergies declares 2.51 million euros in expenditure, ahead of Engie (2.25 million euros) and Crédit Agricole (2.17 million euros). Sanofi (1.41 million euros) and Airbus (1.37 million) complete the top 5.

TotalEnergies and Engie have each declared around twenty interest representation actions for the year 2021: the Environment Code, the Finance Bills, the Recovery Plan, the Energy Code are among the texts on asking they sought to weigh. If Carrefour or LVMH have rather increased their activity since 2018, at the other end of the spectrum, STMicroelectronics or Schneider Electric did not show any lobbying expenditure in 2021, despite having carried out actions in previous years. Teleperformance, Legrand or Hermès are also on the sidelines.

Energy, banks, transport

Highly regulated sectors are logically at the top of the ranking:

  • energy (4.7 million euros of expenditure),
  • banks and insurance (4.04 million),
  • transport and defense (3.67 million),
  • then come distribution and trade companies (2.37 million),
  • construction and industry (2.75 million),
  • luxury (1.24 million)
  • and finally technology companies (837,000 euros).

The expenditures designated in this ranking only consume lobbying carried out directly by companies. But federations, employers’ organizations and specialized firms also engage in influence actions for the benefit of CAC 40 groups.

Examples include the French Federation (1.12 million expenses in 2021), the Automotive Platform (450,000 euros), France Digitale (250,000 euros), the French Union of Petroleum Industries (150,000 euros).

The Medef declares 1.12 million lobbying expenses in 2021. Among the specialized firms, we find well placed Boury, Tallon & Associés (4.12 million) Lysios (1.87 million), M&M Conseil (1, 12 million), Image 7 (750,000 euros), Publicis Consultants (350,000 euros), etc.

Shares of Google, Microsoft or Samsung

Some foreign groups are also experienced in the exercise and know the mysteries of French power inside out. Google is thus very active with 1.62 million euros in expenditure in 2021, as are Microsoft (1.12 million) Samsung (550,000 euros), Huawei (250,000 euros), Coca-Cola (237,500 euros), McDonald’s (150,000 euros), Lidl (150,000 euros) or Procter & Gamble (67,500 euros).

According to the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life, nearly 2,500 interest representatives are currently active and more than 11,000 lobbying actions were reassessed in 2021. Bercy and the Ministry of Ecological Transition were the most subject to the pressure from lobbies, while a third of interest representation actions were aimed at influencing the law.

*Methodology: to carry out this classification, we consulted the amounts of the expenses related to the actions of representation of interests published by the HATVP. We have taken into account the amounts declared by CAC 40 companies and their subsidiaries with more than 50%. Given that the HATVP publishes fairly fine ranges of expenses, we have retained the average value each time for greater readability. Annual declarations of less than 10,000 euros were not taken into account.

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