updated 01:12 pm EDT, Mon July 23, 2012
EPEAT, tracking among issues in Apple's agenda
Apple spent about $470,000 lobbying US Congresspeople during the second quarter of 2012, versus Google's $3,920,000, Fortune notes. New Congressional lobbying reports have been released, indicating that both companies spent slightly less during the quarter in their efforts to influence politicians. During the first quarter, Google spent $5,030,000, versus Apple's $500,000.
The lobbying reports indicate that Apple pressured politicians on a number of topics, ranging from "issues related to the transportation of batteries" to the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011. Of special interest is a reference to "EPEAT," though no other details are mentioned. EPEAT is an environmental rating standard considered by the US government and other organizations when buying computers; even though Apple contributed to its creation, it recently withdrew many products from EPEAT certification, only to put them back on the list almost immediately. The company likely did so because of growing signs that many organizations, such as the City of San Francisco, would simply stop buying Macs.
Apple is known to spend an unusually small amount on lobbying compared with other major tech companies. The company does have a number of regular political interests though, such as patents, taxes, copyrights, education, and privacy controls.