Apple CEO Tim Cook (L) arrives at the White House to attend a state dinner honoring French President Emmanuel Macron in Washington, DC on December 1, 2022.
Roberto Schmidt | AFP | Getty Images
Apple increased its lobbying spending last year, increasing its total for the year by 44% compared to 2021, according to the disclosures.
Although Apple’s lobbying spending has grown the most over the past year compared to others in the industry, it still spends far below the level of other tech giants. Apple’s total lobbying efforts totaled nearly $9.4 million for all of 2022, a record for the company but just below of Microsoft $9.8 million and Google 10.9 million dollars.
Amazon and the owner of Facebook Target topped the list by total spending, giving away $19.7 million and $19.2 million, respectively. For Amazon, it was roughly a 2% increase in spending compared to 2021, and for Meta, it was a 4.6% decrease.
The five tech giants spent a combined nearly $69 million lobbying the federal government last year, a 5% increase compared to 2021.
In 2022, tech giants faced the prospect of bipartisan legislation that would greatly disrupt their business models. Such measures included antitrust promissory notes that would prohibit large platforms or online marketplaces from unfairly promoting their own products over others listed on their forums, or prevent app stores from forcing developers to use their in-app payment system, which they often cut out of.
These measures ultimately never received a vote on the floor of either house of Congress—which is a fact The bills’ sponsors blame, at least in part, an aggressive campaign aimed at technological influence.
from Apple public filing shows it covered antitrust laws in the fourth quarter, as well as issues such as online privacy, taxes, semiconductor policy, content moderation, climate change, immigration and LGBTQ issues including the Respect for Marriage Act. The lobbying disclosure does not include details of exactly what the companies were advocating in their discussions.
An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Other tech companies have tackled many of the same issues, though some have also lobbied on issues more specific to their businesses. For example, Amazon engaged on Cloud Computing and the INFORM Consumers Act, a bill that recently passed Congress which tries to discourage the sale of counterfeit goods online.
Semiconductor companies also saw a large increase in lobbying spending last year as the government considered CHIPS and Science Actsuccessful legislation that provides incentives for the growth of American computer chip manufacturing.
Intelwhich has has pledged to spend up to $100 billion on a chip factory in Ohioincreased its lobbying spending by more than 72% compared to last year, totaling more than $7 million. Micronwho made a similar commitment to build a chip manufacturing plant in upstate New Yorkincreased their lobbying spending by approximately 118% compared to 2021, totaling nearly $4.2 million.
Crypto and fintech companies also saw significant increases in lobbying spending in 2022, a year marred by the crypto scandal, although many are still spending a relatively small amount. Coinbase it resumed lobbying efforts last year after a long hiatus, according to a public database. It rapidly grew its operations and spent $3.4 million in 2022. Blockchain Association which represents various companies in this space and have been lobbying for just a few years, increased their spending by 111% compared to 2021.
Another company that has been in the government’s crosshairs, TikTok owner ByteDance, saw only modest growth in spending this year, up about 4% from a year earlier to $4.9 million. Congress successfully passed a ban on the app on government devices. It comes as the company seeks to reach a resolution with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US to continue operating while mitigating the risk of its connection to its Chinese owner, which has raised alarm among intelligence officials and politicians. After he had his the largest lobbying quarter in the second quarterexceeded $2 million, in the following two quarters it reduced its spending below $1 million.