New proposals may weaken 'paid prioritization' ban, throttling restrictions
One of the three Federal Communications Commission board members previously expected to vote in favor of Chair Tom Wheeler's Title II net neutrality proposal has thrown a spanner in the works by suggesting some changes that could possibly dilute the effectiveness of the proposal. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has asked Wheeler for some changes that wouldn't challenge the overall concept of the proposal, but could weaken FCC enforcement of some key aspects.
Company uses restricted stock units, conditional on performance, as incentives
In its latest SEC 10-Q filing, Apple has revealed certain company details -- including the fact that it still spends a small fraction of the money other tech firms do on Washington lobbying, and that it continues its practice of awarding its executives restricted stock units (RSUs) that could be worth millions if they stay with the company and it continues to do well. CFO Luca Maestri and Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Dame Angela Ahrendts both received their first executive bonuses as part of the disclosure.
Company ups lobbying firms to 40 in Washington, connections to public sector
Comcast has increased the number of lobbying firms employed in Washington DC to 40 since it started the merger process with Time Warner Cable. The Hill reports that it is one of the largest lobby teams ever in Washington, which has increased an already large group from 33 firms employed by the company.
Apple 11th place among tech firms
Politico reports that Apple has spent only $500,000 on federal lobbying and associated governmental programs thus far in 2012. By contrast, political action committees (PAC) formed by Google have dropped $5 million, and a separate Microsoft PAC has doled out $1.8 million in the same time period. Sources within Washington suggest that Apple will have a rocky road with DC lawmakers unless they start building a "Washington brand."
Firm up to $1.8M in reported spending
Apple has spent around $1.8 million on lobbying the federal government through the third quarter of 2011, figures filed with the U.S. House of Representatives' clerk's office show. While third-quarter spending, at $460,000, was down significantly (42 percent) from the $790,000 it spent in the second quarter, it is up 35 percent from the year-ago third quarter of 2010.
Meredith Baker to lobby for Comcast-NBC
Comcast has announced that it has hired Meredith Attwell Baker, an FCC Commissioner. The Republican Commissioner will join the cable provider as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for NBC Universal, a leadership position in the company's Washington DC-based lobbying division. The move has raised eyebrows, considering the Commissioners recent role in approving Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal.
Apple spends to lobby
During the second quarter of 2008, Apple reportedly spend $450,000 on lobbying within the federal government, under a broad spectrum of interests in energy conservation, education, and intellectual property rights. Forbes writes that a disclosure form – which Apple filed July 21st – shows Apple dividing the aforementioned figure among patent reforms, consumer product safety, No Child Left Behind, and energy efficiency, as well as initiatives to quash spyware.