“Apple Inc. is a synonym for independence, hipness and originality — but recent setbacks may finally force the icon to rethink its us vs. them mentality when it comes to big battles in Washington and Silicon Valley,” Steve Friess writes for Politico. “The company marches to its own iTunes, spending little on lobbying, rarely joining trade associations and, in a pattern that’s become more pronounced this summer, refusing to negotiate or settle in many lawsuits.”
“Experts say Apple’s tried-and-true approach is starting to backfire, as the company has already taken at least one big hit in a high-profile e-books trial,” Friess writes. “A recent landmark D.C. appearance by CEO Tim Cook may reflect a new reality for Apple: that direct engagement with lawmakers, regulators and rivals is more effective than trying to remain above it all… The very notion that Cook felt he needed to do what late founder Steve Jobs never did — publicly mollify Congress and, by extension, the American public — showed that the worm may have turned for Apple.”
Friess writes, “Three weeks ago, Apple was found by a federal judge to have orchestrated an e-books price-fixing scheme. The five other book publishers involved settled with the Justice Department, but Apple refused. The company lost at trial and has vowed to appeal. Apple also appears headed to court in a class-action lawsuit over Silicon Valley hiring practices. Two other co-defendants recently settled. And later this week, Apple and Samsung expect to learn who has won a patent dispute before the U.S. International Trade Commission.”
“Experts and insiders say, something’s got to give. The company’s outreach must mature, said Matt Seeger, dean of the communications school at Wayne State University in Detroit,” Friess writes. “‘When you have a $400 billion company, it’s hard to claim you’re outside of the system,’ he said. ‘At some point, that image becomes counterproductive. It’s the 60-year-old dean trying to be cool.'”
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