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Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook

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Apr 12, 2001
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On a trip to Washington, D.C. last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with various senators to discuss a variety of topics, and Bloomberg points to the trip as a sign of the company's increased lobbying in recent years.

Though Apple was previously known to have a very small presence in Washington under Steve Jobs, Cook has quietly stepped up those efforts since taking the reins as CEO in 2011.
"They've learned what others before them have learned -- that Washington can have a great effect on their business," said Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based non-profit that scrutinizes money in politics.
Even with its increased spending in Washington, Apple still trails a number of other companies in the area. According to OpenSecrets.org, a website which tracks spending, from January through September 2014, Apple's $2.9 million in lobbying expenditures was well below that of Google ($13.7 million) and Microsoft ($6 million).

Bloomberg also mentions Apple's increased hiring of staff in Washington, last year naming Amber Cottle - a Washington insider and former chief of staff for the Senate Finance Committee - as the head of its new lobbying office.

Perhaps explaining some of the increased lobbying, Cook knows the intense scrutiny the company will be under in the coming months with the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch and its various personal data-tracking applications, and government officials have no doubt been concerned over the possibility of new privacy-related issues.

Meetings in the past with the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission to discuss health and security issues related to mobile medical applications and ultimately the Apple Watch have helped the company explain its commitment to privacy and security of individual users, while also hinting at possible user-based technology the company could be focusing on in the future. Finance has also been an area of concern for government officials, with Apple Pay putting the company into the spotlight and the company's tax practices being called into question.

With the company also having faced a number of lawsuits concerning everything from e-book pricing to lackluster data storage the company is no doubt looking to increase its dialogue with government officials to address current concerns while also looking to the future.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook
 

Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
709
1,661
NO! DON'T FREAKING APPEASE THEM!! what the hell.... Did Steve teach you nothing about telling loser politicians to go **** themselves?? ###
 
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zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,616
United Kingdom
Unsurprising.

Tim has always had a very chilling corporate vibe, no matter how much he tries to hide it by saying the word "amazing" in that hybrid whispering-shouting voice.

I knew he was itching to let Apple rub itself against politicians as soon as he became CEO.
 
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2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
A company the size of Apple becomes an easy target for lazy politician who prefer to vilify anything versus actually solving problems. It only makes sense to have people to help reduce some of the attacks coming out of washington. It is a sad statement on how the American system works, but it is a reality for any company these days trying to work in the USA.
 
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zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,616
United Kingdom
A company the size of Apple becomes an easy target for lazy politician who prefer to vilify anything versus actually solving problems. It only makes sense to have people to help reduce some of the attacks coming out of washington. It is a sad statement on how the American system works, but it is a reality for any company these days trying to work in the USA.

It has nothing to do with lazy politicians and everything to do with Tim's willingness to bow to the typical rotten corporate-to-government affair.

It was known that Apple avoided taxes and had poor conditions in its suppliers' factories for many years, certainly so when Steve was CEO. The only difference is these politicians knew that Steve wasn't interested in what they had to say.

Tim, however, is more than willing to meet and greet any politician that happens to walk his way.
 
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Millah

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2008
838
435
It has nothing to do with lazy politicians and everything to do with Tim's willingness to bow to the typical rotten corporate-to-government affair.

It was known that Apple avoided taxes and had poor conditions in its suppliers' factories for many years, certainly so when Steve was CEO. The only difference is these politicians knew that Steve wasn't interested in what they had to say.

Tim, however, is more than willing to meet and greet any politician that happens to walk his way.

Ah, if only everything in the world was that simple. But go ahead, demonize Tim Cook, if that's all you're capable of thinking.

Apple wasn't the largest, most heavily scrutinized company in the world pulling in hundreds of billions in revenue annually, when Steve was around. Its been 3 years. The company has grown by multiple factors since he passed.

Unfortunately, lobbying is the name of the game when you earn as much money and influence as Apple today. The outcome would have been the same regardless of whether or not Steve was in charge. Tim is just much less stubborn and willing to face reality. Even then, Apples puny lobbying budget could be seen more insulting to the greedy politicians and still makes Apple a huge target
 
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zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,616
United Kingdom
Unfortunately, lobbying is the name of the game when you earn as much money and influence as Apple today. The outcome would have been the same regardless of whether or not Steve was in charge. Tim is just much less stubborn and willing to face reality. Even then, Apples puny lobbying budget could be seen more insulting to the greedy politicians and still makes Apple a huge target

I disagree. I don't think Steve would've got involved in the Washington game. It was in his nature to be arrogant and stubborn. Kissing up to some politician wasn't in his nature.

It's funny how you claim lobbying Washington and playing politics is the reality. Apple could've been the one to "think different" and change it. Now they are in the same class as General Electric, Walmart, Verizon, AT&T, et al. They do an excellent job at pulling off a sweet and caring marketing image, though, they appear to have you fooled into thinking they are a victim.

Don't get me wrong, I own and have owned a lot of Apple products, and I enjoy using them. That doesn't mean I have to agree with their government dilly-dallying.
 
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rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
12,513
I disagree. I don't think Steve would've got involved in the Washington game. It was in his nature to be arrogant and stubborn. Kissing up to some politician wasn't in his nature.


Never would have happened if Jobs were alive.

 
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Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
1,872
1,167
I disagree. I don't think Steve would've got involved in the Washington game. It was in his nature to be arrogant and stubborn. Kissing up to some politician wasn't in his nature.

Arrogance and stubbornness are the hallmarks of the DC game.
 
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zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,616
United Kingdom
Never would have happened if Jobs were alive.

Image

I wouldn't say that going to a dinner with the President is the same as sucking up to him or lobbying. He also told Obama that he was headed for a one term presidency.

You think Tim would've done that? He would've offered to pay for Obama's campaign.
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,475
1,303
Less money in politics! No more corporate interests! Unless it's left wing money and left wing corporations.
 
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bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
Always blows my mind that this is legal or how much money the US spends on election campaigns and a proper "Image"
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,246
27,947
OK can someone actually point out the lobbying Apple has done? I couldn't find it in the story. I'm not sure how meeting with the FDA over HealthKit and Watch constitutes lobbying. Apple is bigger than ever and thus under more scrutiny than ever. Of course Cook is going to hire more people who know how to navigate Washington and regulatory agencies.
 
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Jynto

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2012
369
99
Nottingham, UK

"Three years ago, we set out to create a leaner more efficient Tim Cook, but at the same time, more essential and certainly more capable. Major components had to be redesigned and revitalised from the ground up. These ambitions were finally realised with the new Tim Cook Air. It's the best Tim Cook we've ever made, and for the first time ever, is now available in Black."

 
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TimelessOne

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2014
236
2
OK can someone actually point out the lobbying Apple has done? I couldn't find it in the story. I'm not sure how meeting with the FDA over HealthKit and Watch constitutes lobbying. Apple is bigger than ever and thus under more scrutiny than ever. Of course Cook is going to hire more people who know how to navigate Washington and regulatory agencies.
My guess is some of it is over net neutralit which sadly needs more free power.
Google and Microsoft put a huge part of their lobbing relating to that but they are being swamped by the telecoms and isp.
 
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Rocketman

macrumors 603
Cook is a political figure and as such other politicians want face time with him, not with his lobbiests. The lobbiests clarify what to say and lay the groundwork for the meetings, but the personal touch is not only less costly, but far more effective. Checking what regulators want before they whip out the fine book is smart.
 
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