Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apple Inc. - The Lobbyist

Updated July 2015

While Apple's product line garners all of the media's attention, the company is a participant in what is a common pastime in Washington.  Here is the data from Open Secrets showing what federal issues are important to Apple and how much they are willing to spend on what is important to the corporation.

Let's open with a bar graph showing how much Apple has spent on lobbying each year since 1998:  

In its most active year in 2014, Apple spent $4.41million on lobbying, more than it spent in the entire years of 2011 and 2012 combined.

Here is a chart showing which computer/internet companies have lobbied Washington in 2014, how much they have spent and how Apple fits into the group:

Compared to the $16.8 million spent by Google and the $9.34 million spent by Facebook, Apple's $4.41 million expenditure on lobbying is somewhat less insignificant and leaves them in 9th place overall among their peers in the computer/internet grouping.

Here is a list of the government agencies lobbied by Apple in 2014:

Here is a list of the main issues that concerned Apple in 2014

Like many American corporations, paying taxes was of the greatest concern to Apple.

Here is a list of the specific Bills from the 113th Congress that were of particular interest to Apple in 2014:

Apple spends a great deal of its time lobbying Washington on patent protection and defending trade secrets.

In 2014, Apple used a total of 31 lobbyists as shown on this listing:

A total of 28 out of 36 or 77.8 percent of these lobbyists are considered "revolvers"; revolvers are lobbyists who worked inside the federal government at some point and are considered to have more influence than non-revolvers.

While most of us tend to think of Apple as a purveyor of consumer products, there is a side to Apple that is willing to throw a bit of its considerable financial reserves to get its way in Washington.  While Apple only uses a tiny fraction of its considerable financial might to lobby Washington, particularly when compared to its tech sector peers, it is interesting to get an inside look at the issues of importance to one of America's most influential corporations.

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