Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Google spent $18M lobbying D.C. in 2012. Apple spent $2M

February 18, 2013: 12:38 PM ET

While Mountain View stepped up its political efforts, Cupertino cut back

Source: Congressional lobbying disclosure reports via OpenSecrets.org

Chart: PED. Source: OpenSecrets.org. Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- The last time we looked at Silicon Valley's lobbying efforts, Google (GOOG) was the big spender and Apple (AAPL) the piker. (See For every $1 Google spends lobbying, Apple spends 10¢.)

That hasn't changed much in the past nine months. In fact, Google increased its political spending in 2012 -- a Presidential election year -- by nearly 90%, while Apple reduced its by 13%.

(The biggest percentage increase, by the way, was Facebook's (FB). It upped its D.C. spending nearly 200%, from $1.35 million to just under $4 million.)

Where did Apple spend its $2 million? According to the company's LD-2 disclosure form, the money was spread out pretty thinly over a wide range of issues, among them:

  • Taxation (including the repatriation of profits earned overseas)
  • Education (including the use of digital textbooks in schools)
  • Telecommunications (including open Internet and children protection issues)
  • Environment (including electronic waste, Energy Star and EPEAT standards)
  • Trade (including free trade and border issues)
  • Consumer Issues (including privacy protection and the Do Not Track Me Online Act)
  • Investments and the SEC (including implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act)
  • Transportation (including the use of technology in cars and airplanes)
  • Computer Industry (including cybercrime)
  • Appropriations (including government precurement rules)
  • Media (including electronic publishing)
  • Medical (including the regulation of mobile medical devices)

Thanks to setteb.it's Fabio Zambelli for the link to Apple's LD-2.

Meanwhile, I recommend once again This American Life's Take the Money and Run for Office. It's a fascinating inside look at big-time lobbying that will change the way you look at Washington politicians.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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