Apple’s lobbying spend hits record high over antitrust charges

Apple’s lobbying spend hit a new quarterly record high in the first quarter of this year, as the company continues its efforts to fight antitrust measures.

Apple is feeling particular pressure from bipartisan support for both the Open App Markets Act and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act …

Background

Apple faces antitrust charges on a number of fronts. We last month outlined the background to just one of the antitrust threats to Apple.

2019 saw the start of a year-long investigation into whether tech giants were guilty of anti-competitive behavior. Apple was one of the companies investigated, with Tim Cook required to testify before Congress – and was among the tech companies found to engage in “deeply disturbing” anticompetitive behavior.

Congress was initially expected to try to pass a single antitrust bill to tackle all of the issues identified, but instead for multiple bills. We’re currently up to six of these, one of which had been described as putting the entire Apple ecosystem at risk

If passed into law, it would impact Apple’s treatment of apps like Spotify, but some have suggested it could even bar the company from pre-installing its own apps on iPhones.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act has made the most progress. Apple CEO Tim Cook personally lobbied against the bill, but his concerns were dismissed by co-sponsor Senator Amy Klobuchar. The bill had bipartisan support in the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it faces opposition from some in both houses […]

The Department of Justice has now thrown its weight behind the bill, arguing that it would enhance its ability to challenge anti-competitive behavior.

Apple’s lobbying spend hits record high

Bloomberg reports that Apple is now spending more than ever on lobbying efforts, which are primarily geared to fighting antitrust issues.

Apple Inc. spent a record quarterly high of $2.5 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2022 amid increased pressure from the U.S. Congress on technology companies over antitrust issues.

Apple’s lobbying expenditures increased more than 34% from the $1.86 million the company spent in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to disclosure reports released Wednesday. The previous high was $2.2 million, spent in the second quarter of 2017.

Google, which faces many of the same charges as Apple, spent even more, at $2.96M.

Photo: Sasun Bughdaryan/Unsplash

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