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Apple hires new lobbyists to influence federal government

updated 03:25 pm EST, Fri February 4, 2011

Company to use pressure for 'innovation'

Apple has hired a DC lobbying outfit to exert influence on the federal government, according to Politico. Official disclosures are said to reveal that the firm of Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock started working for Apple on February 1st. What issues Apple may want to push politicians on has not been revealed beyond a broad category of "innovation."

The company is noted to be a relatively minor player in Washington, traditionally spending less than competitors in trying to win laws beneficial to profits. Whereas Apple spent a little over $1.6 million in lobbying the government in 2010 for instance, Microsoft spent nearly $7 million. It may feel increased motivation to lobby however because of recent scrutiny its practices have drawn. As an example, the company only reopened iOS development to third-party tools after the FTC began a probe into antitrust violations.

Three of the people handling Apple at Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock are reported to have connections to the last Bush administration. Mark Isakowitz worked on his transition team, and was also at one point the press secretary for Ohio Republican representative Paul Gilmor. Kirk Blacock was a special assistant and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison during the Bush years, while Kristen Chadwick was once a special assistant on legislative affairs.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Playing catchup...

    Maybe if Apple spends a lot more money, they can eventually catch up with Google, who have the largest number of lobbyists of any technology company...

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Obama's meeting with Steve Jobs.

    This reminds me of that last-minute meeting that President Obama had with Steve Jobs about a month ago. It seems like there must be a connection, right? Or perhaps both incidents are simply a natural result of Apple being the 2nd largest corporate performer in the country? Or maybe Obama just needed a way to associate himself with the word "jobs" :)

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Nothing new

    There is nothing new about lobbyists trying to gain a politician's favor. But no matter who is behind them, the practice is reprehensible. Our politicians should be working for the betterment of society and to help its citizens, not line their pockets with $$$. (Like that will ever change).

  1. facebook_Terrin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011

    +4

    Easy

    This is easy. Patent reform. Apple is sued over patents more then any other company. Most times the suit is BS. The US patent system stinks. First, patent holders can forum shop. That is why so many cases go to Texas. You can't do that in other areas of law. Second, you can apply for a patent without 1) any intention, or 2) any ability to utilize the idea. Some companies patent an idea just to prevent the idea from coming to market. That stands in contrast to the purpose of patent law. Further, others will sit on their alleged patent until a company makes a ton of money on the alleged patented idea and then sue. Waiting should be illegal.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011

    -3

    Reason

    They want Obama to give away more iPods to heads of state.

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