This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Apple's Fat Wallet Finds Home in Nation's Capitol


By Darrell Etherington, GigaOM

Apple spent $790,000 on lobbying efforts during the second quarter of 2011, according to its most recent disclosure report. The Associated Press notes that this is up from $560,000 during the first quarter of the year, and more than double the $330,000 Apple spent during the second quarter of 2010. Why the increasing expenditure on trying to catch the ear of U.S. lawmakers? There are a number of factors involved, and it’s also important to note that Apple isn’t the only big tech company with an expanding lobbying budget.

Google spent $2.06 million during the second quarter, which was up 54 percent from the same time a year ago. And Facebook spent $320,000 during the quarter, which seems low until you consider that it’s actually almost as much as the company spent during all of 2010. Public interest group Consumer Watchdog said when those numbers were released back in July that these companies are “clearly trying to influence policy,”and there are good reasons why the need for them to do so is becoming more urgent.

Apple’s lobbying expenses go toward issues like patent reform, electronic waste and consumer privacy online, all of which are subjects crucial to its continued success. The company is currently involved in a large number of ongoing patent disputes, and would no doubt love to see patent reforms that limit the ability of non-practicing holders to use patents to extract licensing fees in exchange for Apple’s continued ability to sell its devices and software. Privacy is also a hot-button issue, with mobile location services stirring up a hornet’s nest of public and lawmaker concern earlier this year. And Apple’s environmental practices also came under attack in 2011.

As Apple grows, it’s not surprising it feels the need to influence the regulatory environment in which it operates. Lobbying Congress, the Departments of Education and Commerce, the FCC, FTC, EPA and the U.S. Trade Representative are all good ways to do that. Apple’s spend is still far less than that of rivals Google and Microsoft (which spent $1.85 million in the second quarter, up from $1.72 in the first) but it does appear that a bit of an arms race is underway among tech companies when it comes to bringing their issues to the foreground among Washington decision-makers.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

Get access to over 75 technology market experts! Understand market fundamentals with research reports and commentary from seasoned analysts. Try GigaOm Pro FREE today

Copyright 2011 GigaOM. All Rights Reserved.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs