updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon August 24, 2009
Apple political persuasion
Apple spent $390,000 in lobbying the US government during the second quarter of 2009, documents from the House of Representatives show. The sum is a $50,000 increase over the first quarter, and came despite slowing Mac and iPod sales. Apple's attempts to privately influence the government are recorded as connected to stimulus funding -- for educational technology, and increasing broadband penetration -- as well as a variety of environmental issues.
These include e-waste, the Energy Star rating program, recycled material quotas for government purchases, and battery safety and transportation. It is not certain what Apple's goals may be in each area may have been, but the company has been generating increasing criticism for exploding iPhones and iPods. At the same time, it has attempted to promote Macs as some of the most environmentally-friendly computers available.
Apple's stimulus lobbying is thought to be related in part to a declining educational market, which in the first quarter of the year shrank by 11 percent. COO Tim Cook admitted in April that he hoped for stimulus money to reach state governments, which in turn could help institutions afford new technology purchases.
Between April and June Apple targeted several government bodies, including Congress, the Education Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the US Trade Representative, among others.