updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu August 25, 2011
Tries to influence tracking, patent, sales laws
Apple has so far spent at least $1.3 million on lobbying the US government this year, says First Street Research. The firm's data covers the first two quarters of the year, during which Apple spent $560,000 and $790,000, respectively. The money can be further subdivided between four major contracted lobbying firms: Capitol Tax Partners, Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, Franklin Square Group, and Jefferson Consulting Group.
Of these Capital Tax Partners took the most money at roughly $80,000 per quarter. FIB pulled in $40,000 in the first quarter and $60,000 in the second, while Franklin managed about $60,000 in each period. Jefferson was paid less than $5,000 for lobbying during the first quarter only. On top of this Apple made use of internal employees and individual lobbyists.
Apple has attempted to influence politicians' decisions on a number of bills this year. Tracking appears to be a recurring concern for the company; some targeted legislation includes the Do Not Track Kids Act, the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, the Do Not Track Me Online Act and the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, among other examples. Privacy is an area of interest in general, as evidenced by efforts to steer the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
Still other lobbying efforts have been directed at online sales, taxes, and even the FAA. One point of interest may be Apple's influence over the Patent Reform Act, since the company has been using patents as a weapon to counter the rising tide of Android devices, which are already threatening to make iOS a minority platform, albeit second-place and controlled entirely by one company. A complete list of target bills can be seen below.
112 S971: Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2011
112 S913: Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011
112 S911: Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization Act
112 S799: Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011
112 S575: Debit Interchange Fee Study Act of 2011
112 S23: Patent Reform Act of 2011
112 S1223: Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011
112 S1212: Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act
112 S1011: Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2011
112 HR 942: American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2011
112 HR 658: FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011
112 HR 654: Do Not Track Me Online Act
112 HR 611: Building Effective Strategies To Promote Responsibility Accountability Choice Transparency Innovation Consumer Expectations and Safeguards Act
112 HR 2168: Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act
112 HR 1895: Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011
112 HR 1860: Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2011
112 HR 1841: Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA) of 2011
112 HR 1834: Freedom to Invest Act of 2011
112 HR 1707: Data Accountability and Trust Act
112 HR 1528: Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2011