Apple lobbyist warns that phone and laptop prices set to soar

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iPhone XS Max
And you thought the iPhone XS was expensive!
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A lobbyist representing tech companies including Apple has warned that tariffs on Chinese products will have a catastrophic impact.

Sage Chandler, of the Consumer Technology Association, said that President Trump’s proposed import tariffs will cause the price of consumer products to rise significantly.

Antitrust boss who may investigate Apple used to lobby for … Apple

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European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
Elizabeth Warren says the current antitrust boss for the DOJ used to lobby on behalf of tech giants.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Senator Elizabeth Warren has asked the Justice Department’s antitrust chief to recuse himself from investigating Apple and Google.

The Democratic 2020 presidential candidate said that Makan Delrahim has a conflict of interest. This is due to his history lobbying for the two companies.

Apple spends millions lobbying lawmakers about tax

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
Here's what Apple spends money on when it lobbies Congress.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

When it comes to lobbying Congress, Apple’s biggest focus by far is on tax laws. Out of 236 lobbying reports since 2005, tax is mentioned in a massive 76%.

This is one takeaway from a new report, analyzing lobbying spend from the big five tech giants, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Between them, they have spent $582 million on lobbying since 2005. According to the report, Apple spent $9.6 million on lobbying last year, and $59.9 million since 2005.

Apple spent millions lobbying Trump administration in 2018

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Cash app with cash money
Apple's spend is nothing compared to some of its tech rivals, however.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple spent $6.6 million lobbying Congress and other federal officials in 2018, newly released records show. While that’s approximately in line with the $7 million it spent in 2017, it’s considerably less than the amount spent by some of Apple’s FAANG rivals.

During the same period, Facebook spent $12.6 million, Amazon spent $14.2 million, and Google — the biggest lobbyist by far — spent a massive $21 million. That’s an increase on Google’s $18 million spend in 2017.

Apple spent a fortune lobbying Trump administration in 2017

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No, Donald Trump didn’t open Mac Pro factory yesterday
Apple took exception to Donald Trump throughout last year. And beyond.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

Apple ramped up its lobbying spend in 2017, shelling out $7 million to battle many of the regulations and proposed new laws issued by the Trump administration.

Under Tim Cook, amount spent by Apple on lobbying efforts has more than doubled. However, while last year’s figure was a personal record for the company, it is less than many other big tech giants spent. During the same period, Google spent $18 million on lobbying efforts, while Amazon spent $12.8 million, and Facebook spent $11.5 million.

Apple is teaming with other tech giants for financial lobbying

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
There's money to be made in, err, money.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple, Amazon and Google aren’t exactly techie BFFs, as can be seen from that whole Android vs. iOS thing, or Amazon’s recent decision to boot Apple TV out of its online store.

But you know what can bring the heads of all three companies together? Let’s try a quick pop-quiz.

A) Team-building paintball trip.
B) Romantic candlelit dinner.
C) The promise of lots and lots of cash.

Click below to find out. (Hint: the answer is C.)

Apple spends less than Google and other tech giants on lobbying fees

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Photo: imelda/Flickr CC
Photo: imelda/Flickr CC

Apple may be out-earning its rivals, but there’s one place it’s lagging behind: political lobbying.

While companies like Google and Facebook continued to pour millions of dollars into influencing U.S. lawmakers during Q3, Apple spent a fraction of this sum.

According to recently published data, between July and September Google spent $3.94 million on lobbying, while Facebook spent $2.45 million. Apple, for its part, spent just over $1 million — mainly pushing issues related to consumer health legislation, transportation of lithium ion batteries, international taxes, e-books, medical devices, and copyright.