In 2021 Apple’s $6.5 million lobbying effort was pretty much the same spend as in 2020. That’s despite increased pressure and scrutiny from lawmakers around the world and a particularly charged atmosphere in Washington. Only this week US senators have been debating a new law to curb the powers of big tech and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has personally lobbied senators including Ted Cruz.
By contrast, Google spent 28% more in 2021 according to a report from Bloomberg news.
Google’s lobbying expenditures increased 28% in 2021 to $9.6 million, according to disclosure reports that were due Thursday. In addition to the specific antitrust bills, some of which could threaten Google’s business model, the company’s Washington team lobbied on a range of issues including cloud computing, the semiconductor supply chain, cybersecurity, global tax issues, pandemic contact tracing and the remote learning technologies that have become a central part of education.Bloomberg News
The increase reflects the tougher scrutiny from Washington on the technology companies that have a bigger presence than ever in U.S. economic activity, civil discourse and everyday life. Along with bipartisan concerns about content moderation and user privacy, a new generation of antitrust activists has described these hugely profitable digital companies as the new robber barons that use anticompetitive conduct to maintain and grow their market dominance.
It is somewhat surprising that lobbying spending went down last year for Apple. Particularly in light of the number of antitrust cases it’s fighting around the world. Given the pertinence of the law being debated in Washington right now and the potential impact it may have on the App Store, you can bet that lobbying spending will be much higher for 2022.
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