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Google grows, Apple reduces US lobbying cash in 2012

updated 02:40 pm EST, Mon February 18, 2013

Major tech companies wield influence on American government

Google increased the amount it spent on lobbying the US government 90 percent year-over-year in 2012, according to data compiled by Fortune. The company ended up spending $18.22 million, easily beating out any other American technology firm. Microsoft, in fact, came in second place with $8.09 million, despite likewise increasing its spending. Other major tech businesses that funneled more money toward lobbying last year included HP, Facebook, and Amazon.

Several tech businesses dropped the amount of cash they spent, including Oracle, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Dell, and Apple. Apple notably shrank its spending to $1.97 million, despite being one of the most profitable corporations in the world. An LD-2 disclosure form reveals that the company tried to sway politicians on topics such as digital textbooks, taxes on repatriated overseas profits, and EPEAT environmental standards.

Apple's funding was spread evenly throughout the year, roughly $500,000 per quarter. The company has traditionally tried to distance itself from politics, but sometimes takes a more aggressive stance. It was for instance openly opposed to Proposition 8, a measure which attempted to ban gay marriage in California.

by MacNN Staff



  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    not surprised

    your comment

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    not surprised

    In light of more stories about Google giving out our personal information all over the place, it better spend $100 million.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Now I see...

    why Google's share price is close to $800 a share while Apple's is closer to $450 a share. Google is putting its money to work where it counts. Google has more friends in higher places. Look for Apple to lose every patent lawsuit it tries to put in place against Android.

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08


    Apple should be spending more money to bribe, err, "lobby" government officials...


  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    Agree with iphonerulez

    While I don't deem it ethical, "lobbying" in the US, is almost mandatory for any corporation, especially one the size of AAPL. I think they're making the wrong move here .... i think Google's lobbying (and historically Microsoft's lobbying) have paid great dividends. In fact Google is just merely copying Microsoft in this regard, and Apple is making the same mistake on this issue as they did in the 90's ... i.e. they refused to get involved in politics. I believe Apple should spend over a $100M on it, and make sure their voice is heard.

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