“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.”
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