Apple has increased its lobbying presence in Washington heavily following the release of Apple Pay, and the impending release of the Apple Watch later this Spring. Bloomberg reports that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was even seen in December at the US capitol – a rare place for a company’s executive.

Cook has taken lobbying more seriously than the late-Steve Jobs. According to OpenSecrets.org, Apple lobbied the White House, Congress and 13 departments and agencies from the Food and Drug Administration to the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 through the third quarter. In 2009 following the iPhone’s launch, Apple lobbied only Congress and six other agencies.

Apple spent a bit over $1 million on lobbying during the third quarter of 2014, building to a $2.9 million running total for the year through September. Spending is expected to surpass the company’s $3.5 million benchmark set in 2013, when we hear fourth quarter numbers released in the coming weeks.

While the spending by Apple may seem like a lot, it’s no where close to other tech giants in the space. Microsoft and Google spent $6 million and $13.7 million respectively on lobbying through the third quarter of 2014.

The increase in lobbying comes at a time when Apple is releasing products that may come under more scrutiny. The Apple Watch has claims surrounding health, and as such, Apple wants to make sure regulators have no problem it’s coming to market. For instance, it was rumored last fall that Apple executives met with at least two FTC commissioners and Chairwoman Edith Ramirez to demonstrate the Apple Watch and Health app.

“The big question is: Is Apple finally getting it?” Chris Jones, founder of CapitolWorks, a lobbyist recruiting firm, told Bloomberg. “Yes, they are. They’re understanding there needs to be a proactive outreach on Capitol Hill and a proactive outreach to the administration.”

Source: Bloomberg

  • U Kn0w What 1t 1s

    Kind of makes me sick when I see corporations spend this much money in Washington. We have turned into the United Corporations of America.

  • Jeffrey

    A bit of a misleading title, thought there was more clarity about the exact release date…

  • Abdullahcfix

    You wrote “In 2009 following the iPhone’s launch”. Shouldn’t it be 2007? Or add 3GS.

  • Jacob S

    Ok after reading the title, my thoughts are: Apple lobbying in Washington DC so that congress should pass a law that all people who comes under Obamacare should buy an Apple watch, if not IRS will find you at the end of the year 😛

    • Steve R.

      That sounds like a headline from The Onion =P

  • JayDee917

    Free Apple Watch covered by Obamacare? One could only wish…

  • MacGuru96

    Excuse me for being such a pedant, but shouldn’t the title read ‘Apple doubles lobbying in Washington, D.C. ahead of Apple Watch release’?

    I know everyone knows that ‘Washington’ usually refers to the District of Columbia, but there’s also an entire state that just so happens to be called the same thing…

    • Steve R.

      Why would Apple even be lobbying in Washington state? Think about that for a second. I think 99% of people knew with the headline that they were talking about D.C.

      • MacGuru96

        Of course, but it wouldn’t hurt to add two little extra characters to correctly refer to the district, would it?. This just happens far too often; I really don’t understand why the state of Washington can’t simply be called ‘Washington’.