From Open Secrets:
When you type “Tim Cook not” into Google, one of the first phrases to pop up is “Tim Cook is not a visionary.” He may be no Steve Jobs, but with the company’s growth slowing, Apple Inc.’s CEO clearly has a vision — one where Apple is a major player in federal lobbying.
This week Apple reported that its first-quarter revenues, as well as iPhone sales and other indicators, were below expectations. That news came just days after the company filed its year-end lobbying report, showing it spent a record $4.5 million lobbying Washington in 2015.
Jobs despised Washington, but Cook is far more invested in the influence game. Apple spent an average of just over $1 million per year on lobbying between 1998 and 2011, the year Jobs died. After his death? About three-and-a-half times that, data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics show. In fact, Apple has spent more on lobbying since 2012 than it did in the previous 13 years combined.
Apple’s lobbying is still dwarfed by that of a few other Internet heavyweights, like Facebook. Last year, Facebook spent $9.85 million on lobbying, or roughly twice as much as the company Jobs co-founded. Still, Apple is no small player: It has spent more than $27 million on lobbying at the federal level since 1998 and its employees have made $2.1 million in contributions to PACs, parties, and candidates in that time.
After all, even without a “blockbuster” product on the market to help propel its continued growth, the company…