Apple steps up lobbying efforts in Washington D.C.

“For years, Apple Inc kept a low profile in Washington as it grew into one of the most valuable companies in the world,” Andy Sullivan, Gabriel Debenedetti, and Poornima Gupta report for Reuters. “Apple has spent far less than other corporate titans on Washington lobbying over the past decade, records show, and the company has often declined to work with other technology companies on issues affecting the industry as a whole. The company spent about $2 million on lobbying last year, up from $180,000 in 1999, records show. This year it is on pace to nearly double last year’s figure.”

Sullivan, Debenedetti, and Gupta report, “Apple’s lobbying expenditures still pale in comparison with those of Microsoft Corp., which spent $8.1 million in 2012, and Google, which spent $16.5 million, records show. And unlike other businesses such as AT&T and Exxon Mobil, Apple has not set up a political action fund to distribute employee contributions to congressional allies – a common tool for wielding influence in Washington. Lobbyists not associated with the firm privately said Apple’s minimal Washington presence could have put it in the crosshairs of the Senate subcommittee, which on Monday accused the company of ducking $9 billion in U.S. taxes through offshore subsidiaries.”

“Though Apple, like many other Silicon Valley companies, served as an important source of campaign money for Democratic candidates in the 2012 election, it has enlisted experienced Republicans to make its case in Washington,” Sullivan, Debenedetti, and Gupta report. “Apple’s chief lobbyist, Catherine Novelli, served as a top trade official in Republican President George W. Bush’s administration. Other in-house lobbyists have worked as aides to senior Republican lawmakers, including Texas Representative Joe Barton, who used to oversee tech issues as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, records show. The company also has hired outside firms to extend its reach in Congress and throughout government. Lobbyists at Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock and Capitol Tax Partners have worked for the Bush administration and top Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Good. Lobbyists often have a bad rep but nowadays with the anti-business climate in this country it’s important for Apple to stand up to the drone politicians.

  2. As much as I dislike it, it makes me wonder how much indirect costs are put out by Apple by NOT cozying up to Washington. How much did it cost Tim and company for this recent and ‘unnecessary’ dog and pony show?

    Spending a few million to save many more million, although irritating in that it is now common to do, would be the smart thing to do for its shareholders.
    Time for Apple to hold its nose and wade among the other wallowers……

  3. Apple has low lobbying costs because providing great products has less moral gray area than selling info for “free” services. Why wasn’t Facebook mentioned? They’re making money the same way Google does.

  4. This is absolute proof that our government is completely corrupt!
    No lobbyists, means no money for the govt whores and their greed machine, so they will hunt you down until you pay up!
    I guess we should just call them ” The Govt Mob”

    1. Where have you been? Did you just wake up this year? This is nothing new. This didn’t just happen. It’s politics. Like it or not that’s the way it is. Has been going on since time began.

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