Apple's lobbying costs grew to $1.24M in Q1, still lag well behind rivals

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2015
Partially to push its new Apple Pay mobile wallet service, Apple boosted its lobbying efforts to a new high in the first quarter of 2015, though the company's spending in Washington remains well behind rivals Google, Microsoft and others.




In a disclosure form published by the U.S. Senate this week, Apple revealed it spent $1.24 million on lobbying the U.S. federal government in the first quarter of calendar 2015. The issues addressed by Apple's lobbyists cover a wide range, including digital textbooks, corporate tax reform, open Internet, and mobile medical applications.

A new topic also broached by lobbyists this quarter, as noted by Bloomberg, was mobile payments, a market that the company entered in late 2014 with the launch of Apple Pay. The U.S. government announced in February that it will accept Apple Pay for a number of transactions, starting with admission to U.S. national parks, in September.

The $1.24 million spent by Apple represents a 16 percent year over year increase from the first quarter of 2014.

But Apple's spending comes nowhere close to rival Google, which invested a record $5.47 million into its lobbying efforts in the first quarter of 2015, according to nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog. Google's spending was a significant 43 percent increase from the $3.82 million the company spent in the same quarter a year ago.
Compared to rivals Google, Microsoft and Amazon, Apple continues to spend relatively little on lobbying compared to its position as the largest company in the world by market capitalization.
Also with a major increase was Comcast, which is fighting to have its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved. Despite growing its lobbying spend 50 percent to $4.62 million, it's expected that the U.S. Department of Justice will block the deal.

Facebook also outspent Apple by a significant amount, coughing up $2.44 million for lobbying efforts in Washington. And software giant Microsoft also spent $1.89 million. Both companies' lobbying bills were down year over year, however.

Amazon increased its lobbying efforts by 130 percent in the first quarter, spending $1.91 million to help influence the government. Other noteworthy companies include Intel ($1.17 million), AT&T ($4.37 million), Verizon ($3.35 million), Time Warner Cable ($1.7 million), and Yahoo ($730,000).

Last year, Apple spent a record $4.1 million to lobby the U.S. government, an 18 percent increase from the $3.4 million it spent in 2013. If the start of 2015 is any indication, Apple will likely again see another increase through the end of the year.

Apple did not cross the $1 million threshold on lobbying until 2006, and continues to spend relatively little on lobbying compared to its position as the largest company in the world by market capitalization.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    rmb0037rmb0037 Posts: 142member
    House Of Cards ruined me of any lobbying. Probably not the best way to validify whether lobbying is good or not...it just comes across as legal bribery.

    Anyways. Carry on.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rmb0037 View Post



    House Of Cards ruined me of any lobbying. Probably not the best way to validify whether lobbying is good or not...it just comes across as legal bribery.



    Anyways. Carry on.



    No, no, that's exactly what it is.  There's absolutely no question about it.

     

    There may be a lot of issues up for debate in our system here in the US.  This, however is not one of them.  It's a clear quid-pro-quo for money.

  • Reply 3 of 30
    mobiusmobius Posts: 377member
    OT: The headline image of the old Apple logo makes me wish they would bring it back in the next OS X release. I think it would look amazing on a retina screen.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    rmb0037 wrote: »
    House Of Cards ruined me of any lobbying. Probably not the best way to validify whether lobbying is good or not...it just comes across as legal bribery.

    Anyways. Carry on.

    aaronj wrote: »

    No, no, that's exactly what it is.  There's absolutely no question about it.

    There may be a lot of issues up for debate in our system here in the US.  This, however is not one of them.  It's a clear quid-pro-quo for money.

    Lobbying doesn’t guarantee that you'll get your way, and bribery does.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    rmb0037rmb0037 Posts: 142member
    dasanman69 wrote: »

    Lobbying doesn’t guarantee that you'll get your way, and bribery does.

    So is lobbying mainly just spreading awareness of certain products/ideologies into congress? I understand there is a difference between lobbying and literal bribery (not that I'm going to play naive and pretend bribery doesn't exist inside of congress anyways). I just don't understand the reasoning behind it. People in congress are able to think for themselves so why the need for someone from Apple to come in and sway people in a certain direction? Unless I'm just looking at it from a 50,000 feet view.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    rmb0037 wrote: »
    So is lobbying mainly just spreading awareness of certain products/ideologies into congress? I understand there is a difference between lobbying and literal bribery (not that I'm going to play naive and pretend bribery doesn't exist inside of congress anyways). I just don't understand the reasoning behind it. People in congress are able to think for themselves so why the need for someone from Apple to come in and sway people in a certain direction? Unless I'm just looking at it from a 50,000 feet view.

    Money isn't always involved with lobbying. A Congress person cannot know everything, and has to be made aware that certain laws are needed, or that an old law no longer is relevant, and needs to be repealed. Lobbying is an essential part of the democratic process, but like most things that involve people it gets abused.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,009member
    rmb0037 wrote: »
    So is lobbying mainly just spreading awareness of certain products/ideologies into congress? I understand there is a difference between lobbying and literal bribery (not that I'm going to play naive and pretend bribery doesn't exist inside of congress anyways). I just don't understand the reasoning behind it. People in congress are able to think for themselves so why the need for someone from Apple to come in and sway people in a certain direction? Unless I'm just looking at it from a 50,000 feet view.
    Perhaps Apple (or Google or Microsoft or??) feels that legislators may not understand an issue and worry that it may not be handled/voted on in a way that satisfies their business goals. Maybe there's been what they feel is misleading articles or reporting and they want their side of the story to be considered. Maybe Apple might feel that un-elected regulators may be hindering their business plans and need access to and assistance from someone they feel might have the influence to speed things up.

    Seems most companies hire insider lobbying firms with demonstrated records of talking to the right people to get things done. I'm sure those firms don't come cheap but for a company like Apple with perhaps billion to be made it's cheap to them.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    dasanman69 wrote: »

    Lobbying doesn’t guarantee that you'll get your way, and bribery does.

    Exactly. Lobbying is fine, it is one of the important ways we the people communicate with our elected officials. It is abused when bribing is involved. Any politician found to be accepting a bribe should lose his job, healthcare and pension. Of course I doubt many politicians would vote for that ... unless they were bribed ...
  • Reply 9 of 30
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post







    Lobbying doesn’t guarantee that you'll get your way, and bribery does.



    It absolutely guarantees that you'll get what you want ... or it guarantees that not only won't you get funding the next election cycle, but your opponent will.

     

    The Corporations spent approximately $3B lobbying last year.  Do you think they just gave that away out of the goodness of their hearts?  Or those expenditures were for "education?"  Oh, by the way: Corporations spend more money lobbying Congress than the US people spend funding Congress.

  • Reply 10 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,720member
    rmb0037 wrote: »
    House Of Cards ruined me of any lobbying. Probably not the best way to validify whether lobbying is good or not...it just comes across as legal bribery.

    Anyways. Carry on.

    FYI: Validate is the word you wanted to use.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,720member
    Exactly. Lobbying is fine, it is one of the important ways we the people communicate with our elected officials. It is abused when bribing is involved. Any politician found to be accepting a bribe should lose his job, healthcare and pension. Of course I doubt many politicians would vote for that ... unless they were bribed ...

    Across the board term limits is the better way toward solving deeply rooted corruption in Washington: www.TermLimits.org

    The problem is that only those partisans whom are out of power at any given time support term limits. When they hold power, they never support reform. Washington is dominated by powerful, connected insiders and they should never have been allowed to stay in office as long as they have.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    aaronj wrote: »

    It absolutely guarantees that you'll get what you want ... or it guarantees that not only won't you get funding the next election cycle, but your opponent will.

    The Corporations spent approximately $3B lobbying last year.  Do you think they just gave that away out of the goodness of their hearts?  Or those expenditures were for "education?"  Oh, by the way: Corporations spend more money lobbying Congress than the US people spend funding Congress.

    Corporations aren't only ones that lobby Congress. I've seen quite a few companies get screwed even after spending an exorbitant amount of money lobbying for their cause.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    Across the board term limits is the better way to solving deeply rooted corruption in Washington: www.TermLimits.org

    The down side is losing, honest people with experience. I am assuming such people exist of course ... :D But yes, many stay way too long. That said, I am sure all that would happen is the many new ones would be puppets of masters behind the scenes if we forced a faster turn over.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,720member
    The down side is losing, honest people with experience. I am assuming such people exist of course ... :D But yes, many stay way too long. That said, I am sure all that would happen is the many new ones would be puppets of masters behind the scenes if we forced a faster turn over.

    "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." It doesn't matter who is the person. Power corrupts.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    The down side is losing, honest people with experience. I am assuming such people exist of course ... :D But yes, many stay way too long. That said, I am sure all that would happen is the many new ones would be puppets of masters behind the scenes if we forced a faster turn over.

    And losing a Senator with much influence. Their constituents still vote them in, so they must be doing something right.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    FYI: Validate is the word you wanted to use.

    Verb: validify (third-person singular simple present validifies, present participle validifying, simple past and past participle validified)

    To validate.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." It doesn't matter who is the person. Power corrupts.

    I'd like to prove it would not corrupt me. Make me King! :D
  • Reply 18 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    And losing a Senator with much influence. Their constituents still vote them in, so they must be doing something right.

    "....doing something right." Ah that from a politician would be sweet indeed.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,720member
    Verb: validify (third-person singular simple present validifies, present participle validifying, simple past and past participle validified)

    To validate.

    "Validify" is not a real word. It's a made-up word for someone confused with the differences between "validate" and "verify". I hope you're not using Urban Dictionary for your definitions.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    "Validify" is not a real word. It's a made-up word for someone confused with the differences between "validate" and "verify". I hope you're not using Urban Dictionary for your definitions.

    It means to validate, and verify simultaneously. :lol:
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