Apple set a record in its spending on lobbying in this year’s first quarter, with its Q1 outlay of $2.5 million ranking as the most the Silicon Valley giant has ever shelled out to influence Washington in a single three-month period.
Previously, the most that Apple had paid out on lobbying in one quarter was $2.23 million in 2017’s Q2, according to data aggregated by OpenSecrets.org.
The increased spending comes as Apple
and other Big Tech companies face antitrust threats from U.S. lawmakers and regulators, including legislation that aims to promote competition on app stores and a separate bill that seeks to block companies from favoring their services over others.
See: Bills targeting Apple and Google face biggest test yet
Also read: Apple’s hot antitrust autumn: Storm clouds are forming from multiple directions
Even as Apple has boosted its lobbying spending to new heights, the Q1 outlay by CEO Tim Cook’s company, which was disclosed in a filing late Wednesday, came in below the amounts spent during the period by other tech giants.
Facebook parent Meta Platform
spent at least $5.39 million on lobbying in Q1, and Amazon
shelled out $4.97 million for the period, according to their disclosures that were filed late Wednesday. Microsoft
disclosed paying out $2.54 million to influence Washington in January through March, and Alphabet’s Google business
reported spending $2.96 million.
Last year, Amazon with its subsidiaries and Facebook’s parent company set fresh records in their annual spending on Washington lobbying, disclosing 2021 outlays of at least $20.3 million and $20.1 million, respectively.
In its Q1 filing, Apple disclosed lobbying on a range of issues, including the bill aimed at app stores, privacy and cybersecurity matters, the Build Back Better Act and competition legislation that targets the chip industry and China.
Now read: Online marketplaces in lobbying battle with manufacturers over provisions in China competition bill that target fake products
And: Big Tech is not shaking over fear of antitrust as companies plow ahead with billion-dollar deals
Plus: Apple’s Tim Cook on privacy: ‘a data-industrial complex built on surveillance’