Apple spent record $4.1M to lobby U.S. government in 2014

in General Discussion edited January 2015
Federal lobbying disclosures filed this week revealed the extent to which Apple has beefed up lobbying operations in recent years, as the $1.2 million the company spent in the fourth quarter of last year pushed its full-year total over $4 million for the first time ever.

That figure represents an 18 percent year-over-year increase from the $3.4 million Apple spent in 2013, itself a record expenditure. Apple did not cross the $1 million threshold until 2006, and continues to spend relatively little on lobbying compared to its position as the largest company in the world by market capitalization.

Second-place Exxon Mobil, for instance, spent more than $12.5 million over the same period.

As noted previously, Apple focuses its lobbying efforts primarily on issues directly related to its product lineup. Consumer health data, safe driving, e-books and data privacy are among the areas that received attention from either Apple's in-house lobbying team or its 23 contract lobbyists.

The company's leadership has also taken a more active role, frequently traveling to Washington to meet with key decision makers. Most recently, company chief Tim Cook met with Utah Sen. Orinn Hatch in December.


  • Reply 1 of 11
    What a ridiculous amount of money to spend! I would prefer the $4.1 million was spent on ensuring their MacBooks didn't become so slow over time - thankfully fixed mine or I would be their worst nightmare after all the money I spent... let alone their wasteful spending!
  • Reply 2 of 11
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Apple's got the cash. In times where people and ideas mean squat and money is the oil that levels the mountain road, then spend, spend, spend, Apple. One tiny fruit fly in your soup is easily brushed aside.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    This is one area in which I hope Apple never has to pour money into.
    Lobbying seems to be a black hole and is used to fight fires.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    While it may seem like a huge amount it is relatively peanuts compared to the under the table "perks" and kickbacks given by other companies. Being above the table about it and vocal Apple is saying we have a message and we believe in it enough top pay for it to be heard.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,119member

    People who think Apple can get away with spending zero on lobbying, or even that it would be a sane or responsible thing to do, live on another planet. Either way, $1.2 million is fucking peanuts, and probably the minimum that Apple feels it can get away with spending. Companies that only make a fraction of the $$ Apple makes are spending far, far more- so I'm not worried about this figure. 

  • Reply 6 of 11
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    And, judging from the State Of The Union speech, probably made that money straight back...

  • Reply 7 of 11
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I want Apple to spend $100,000,000 each year on lobbying.

    Not so they get favors from politicians/judges.  Just so they get fair treatment. 

    Look at the ebooks case, the ridiculous case that almost got older iPhones banned, and the case against Samdung.

    That's peanuts compared to the $3,000,000,000 Apple spent on Beats.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    nick29nick29 Posts: 111member
    Chump change, but Congress is full of cheap whores anyway.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    What a colossal waste of money.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

    I want Apple to spend $100,000,000 each year on lobbying.

    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

    What a colossal waste of money.


    If Steve had been pushed hard enough to care about politics (say these lawsuits continue and he’s finally convinced by one of Apple’s legal department–or gets it in his head that it’s right–to stab the heart of the corruption), he would have had Apple spend money, not on lobbying, but on pushing for the elimination of lobbying.


    I’m told I’m a “naive idealist” when I express confusion at the concept of “hey, we’ll fund you to vote our way.” That’s not how it works; you support someone because you believe in what he’s going to do over what the other guy is going to do, not just to pay him off to do what you want. Anything else needs to be illegal.

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