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.