With antitrust mutters growing, Apple triples federal lobbying expenses, boosts D.C. presence

“Growing from a scrappy underdog to one of the biggest technology companies on the planet with a huge base of loyal fans, Apple Inc. is looking for even more friends — this time in Washington,” Jim Puzzanghera and David Sarno report for The Los Angeles Times.

“The company, with a market value greater than that of Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. or Hewlett-Packard Co., is increasingly evolving from a computer maker into a multi-product international powerhouse and a major force in the entertainment and publishing industries,” Puzzanghera and Sarno report. “But Apple’s aggressive exploitation of its immensely popular iPhone, iPad and sprawling online marketplace for music and digital applications has raised the eyebrows of regulators and lawmakers, who worry the company’s dominance might stifle competition.”

“Such complaints are leading Apple to become more engaged in Washington,” Puzzanghera and Sarno report. “Since its dramatic growth began in 2003 — the value of its shares has skyrocketed to more than $300 billion from $2.5 billion — the Cupertino, Calif., company has more than tripled its federal lobbying expenses to $1.6 million last year.”

“In February, the company boosted its forces by hiring the high-powered Washington lobbying firm of Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock. And Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has met with President Obama twice in the last five months, unusual forays into the political arena for the company’s co-founder,” Puzzanghera and Sarno report. “Those moves help Apple make its case to policymakers and regulators on issues that affect it, as well as help the company learn about potential problems and pending legislation before they become public. Still, Apple remains a surprisingly small-time player inside the Beltway.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Work the system or the system will work you.

[Attribution: The Mercury News. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]

77 Comments

    1. I already hate this article — first line — ‘One of the biggest technology companies’

      Ahem — let me clear my throat — it IS the biggest technology company in the world, not one of them.

      1. Much as I enjoy Bill Maher, for two weeks in a row now on ‘Real Time’ he has said that General Electric is ‘the biggest corporation in America’. NO. It’s Exxon-Mobil (thanks to them jacking up gas prices every time Apple starts catching up to them) and APPLE at the top. What’s GE, like #5? Peh!

  1. Apple seems to be transforming into all that we hate about the behemoths Microsoft and Google with it’s selfish fangs sunk into every legal and political orifice just to propagate its own agenda, good or bad.

    1. How exactly is Apple becoming a Google or Microsoft? They refuse to saturate the market with their OS like Microsoft did. They design and build their own products and then stand behind them. There are other options if you don’t want Apple products. The only thing they are guilty of is making a superior product that people want. There was a time in this country when that wasn’t a crime

    2. More “sky is falling” from the Dude with a Ph.D.?? How do you reach that conclusion from Apple spending a whopping $1.6M to protect itself through lobbying??? You appear to have some serious issues, Dude.

    3. On the purely technical side, it will be a lot cleaner and higher quality hardware and software environment.

      For one, I see something has got to happen to all those anti-virus software companies.

  2. Apple ought to contribute to Speaker Boehner. He’s got the useful idiots Obama and Reid wrapped around his pinky finger.

    In fact, Obama’s such a useful idiot, the GOP might just let him have a second term. He can golf all the time and take vacations, and come back to rubber stamp the GOP’s changes for fiscal responsibility. It’s the same as having a Republican president, but better, since you can blame The Obama Dunce whenever you need to!

    Boehner’s pulling the strings, playing the dummy Dems like a Stradivarius, and this country’s financial health will be the better for it when he’s done.

    Apple should concentrate on getting in good with Boehner and the GOP.

          1. 10-1-10
            the budget was REQUIRED to be done, Dems did nothing. no way republicans could stop it, they didnt have the balls to do one.
            after the 10 elections, the Dems could have done a scorched earth budget to spite the republicans victory.
            they didn’t.
            you really should learn about government before you show your ignorance. (this was a Democrat problem 100%, they held the purse strings, they held ALL power. can’t blame the republicans for something they don’t have the power to do.)
            this wouldn’t have been the first Gov shutdown, ask Carter…

            as far as i’m concerned, i could care less if some parks worker didn’t get paid… but you damn well pay the soldiers.

            As far as Planned parenthood, read the Hyde Amendment. Clinton signed it into law, all the republicans were trying to do is keep the Dems following the law.
            Boehner caved, and he will pay for it.
            I love how Reid would Gladly give money to fund an abortion clinic… but refused to pay our soldiers.

            Priorities are wrong.
            Government’s MAIN responsibility is to protect its citizens. Defense, and get out of the way of pretty much everything else. Leave it to the states as defined in the bill of rights.

            1. To the brainless below me. The “snl writer” comeback.

              I DARE you to find one part of my response above, that is inaccurate.
              I only stated the facts that you don’t want to see.
              Budget HAS to be done by oct 1st, the dems in control were to scared to pass one, the republicans could NOT do anything to stop them from passing one. They chose to pass, again.

            2. The Democrats could have forced through a budget at one time, even given the extreme obstructionism practiced by the GOP. That was the tactic employed during the first four years of the Bush administration. They did not do it at first because they were seeking bipartisanship. They did not do it later because they waited too long and lacked the willpower and guts. But to blame it all on the Democrats is so incredibly nuts – what about the party of “cooperate, but do not compromise?” I suspect that describes you extremely well (except for the cooperate part).

              All I can say is that I would absolutely love to see people like you protest against Boehner. Next to the Tea Partiers he looks sane and moderate, which is appears to be why you are disgusted with him.

              With respect to the Bill of Rights, you must be referring to the Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people. I support that part of your rant, although it is worth pointing out that many of the states have fulfilled their governmental functions very poorly indeed.

              You just don’t seem to understand what a burden the GOP nearly unilaterally imposed on this nation during the Bush administration. Many thousands of people have dided and many times as many veterans and their families must now cope with terrible injuries for the rest of their lives because of the attack on Iraq that undermined and prolonged the justified offensive against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

              There is not enough space on this forum to influence a psyche as ossified and circularly reinforced as yours appears to be. Good luck with your delusions.

        1. How exactly is Boehner the puppet master?

          The tea partiers demanded $100 billion in spending cuts with no compromises, the Republicans wanted $61 billion in cuts, and Democrats wanted $11 billion in cuts.

          The final compromise was $41 billion in cuts with none of the controversial right wing policy changes attached (such as defunding planned parenthood.)

          It sounds to me like Boehner was caught in the middle of a lot of contradicting interests and barely managed a compromise, a compromise that will aggravate tea partiers more than any other group.

    1. OT PoliTard Time!
      @D.C. Insider (anonymous):
      You mean Boohoo Boehner? (;_;)

      The only good thing I can say about Boehner is that at least he has demonstrated he has a conscience, unlike the multitude of psychopaths evident in the ‘CRAZIES’ fringe of the used-to-be ‘Republican’ party.

      And no, I’m none too pleased with the wimpiness of the Democrats either. We have a massive leadership gap from all directions thanks to the rule of the Corporate Oligarchy. 😛

  3. For a company Apple’s size and importance, $1.6 million for a presence in DC is very small. Trust me, the energy industry literally spends 1000x that, or more, trying to kill the EPA or fighting alternative energy legislation.

  4. It’s a defensive maneuver. This article is written with a strongly negative slant, for example why say this:

    “Apple’s aggressive exploitation”, why use the word “exploitation” with its strongly negative connotations?

    And, then they write, “And Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has met with President Obama twice in the last five months, unusual forays into the political arena for the company’s co-founder,””

    They put it out there, as if Steve sought meetings with Obama, when it was clear, Obama sought a meeting with Steve.

    The usual tripe, passed off as journalism.

    1. I agree that Apple is being for defensive in there spending and the meeting with Obama are more closely tied to the times rather than a desire by Apple to influence things.

      Apple competes in the arena of ideas, not political influence.

  5. Apple could fund every Senate and Congressional race in the 2012 cycle and still have cash left over. Time to buy the Legislative branch outright and put this country on track. All hail Julius Steveus.

    1. Except that being illegal…

      Apple is on Washington’s radar, not a good thing. Ask bill Gates about his time in Washington.
      Sure we were glad to watch bill get reamed on a daily basis by every side in Washington… but unless MS was breaking Federal laws, he shouldnt have been there.
      Apple isnt breaking federal laws, but they know that if they dont butter both sides of Washington’s bread… they will be on Capital Hill defending their right to even breath.

      Sad reality.
      Dont blame Apple for doing this, such BS that they DO have to though.

  6. @D.C.Insider
    The only thing you have going for you is a hatred and a longing to point fingers at things you have no idea what you are talking about.

    It’s idiots like you who put this country in the position it’s in now, but you want to blame someone else for the problem.

    And this makes you a Fool, a Troll, and a very sick sick individual..

    1. What?

      You make no sense.

      All I said was simply that Apple would be better served if Steve Jobs was dining with the real man in charge, Speaker Boehner, not the Obama puppet.

      Why waste time with the golfing puppet when you can talk directly with the master puppeteer?

    2. Really? D.C. Insider seems to be against both the GOP and Obama.

      I’d say it’s partisans like you, who labour under the illusion that one party is good while the other is bad, that are responsible for putting the USA in the position it’s in now.

      When each divided half of the population is comitted to ignoring the fact that their own side is just as corrupt as the other side, the whole country just keeps swirling down the toilet because it’s going to take the entire population coming together to fix the broken political system. Meanwhile, under the cover of this inane Dem vs Repub vs Liberal vs Conservative infighting, politicians are running amok.

      And they will continue running amok indefinitely, because whenever anybody says “Democrats suck!” they’re shouted down by a vast crowd of partisans, and whenever anybody says ” Republicans suck!” they’re also shouted down by another vast crowd of partisans. Each party has enough unthinking minions willing to defend it that they can both get away with anything.

      So thanks, thanks for being a part of the problem. Really. Thanks alot.

  7. Waste of money Apple, ‘cuz didn’t Obama come into town riding his white horse saying IN HIS administration, there would be no dealing with lobbyists?!

    Oh wait, lapse in judgement, it WAS Obama who said there would be no dealing with lobbyists, and like so many of his other stands, too numerous to mention here, his Colander-Leadership™ holds no water and you can watch another one of his promises go down the drain!

    So Save Your Money Apple!

          1. It takes a lot of time to shut down a torture facility when none of the states will accept the prisoners and you can’t find another country in the world to take all of them. I am so sorry that Obama has not succeeded in fixing yet another of the heinous problems that he inherited from Bush and Cheney. Obama was admittedly overly optimistic going into his administration. But he mistakenly assumed that the Congress would do at least a bit of its job at some point in the first two years after he was sworn in.

      1. big purple lips? Really?

        I’ve heard talk like that before. It was always with guys with swastikas tattooed on their necks talking about the “mud races”.

        Don’t you have a cross to burn someplace?

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