Apple has grown into a powerful lobbyist because of growing scrutiny of its antitrust practices

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Apple is currently spending more on political lobbying than it ever has in a period of antitrust investigation from all sources, including the United States.

According to a new study by Bloomberg that tracks how Apple CEO Tim Cook has become one of the most politically active tech chief executives in the country, the company that makes the iPhone spent a record $4.6 million in the first half of 2022.

During the first six months of 2022, Apple’s spending was $1.5 million more than in the same period of the previous year.

Apple has also launched three new antitrust lobbying organizations since the beginning of 2021, all of which have close relationships with prominent lawmakers. The Cupertino-based firm is also working with lobbyists on Capitol Hill, including a former adviser to Senator Amy Klobuchar.

There has been a more than 65 percent increase in the number of Apple lobbyists since 2015, including both internal and external staff. Apple’s overall number of lobbyists is still lower than those of its rivals.

Also read: Apple patents suggest iPhones could feature lasers for higher biometric accuracy

The study also reveals some of the strategies employed by Apple’s lobbyists. For example, during the House Judiciary Committee-Energy and Commerce Committee showdown in 2021, Apple-linked lobbyists tried to inflame a political debate. In the end, it was not successful.

There has been a rise in the amount of technology industry lobbying as antitrust concerns have grown. Legislators in the US are exploring new legislation that might force Apple to allow third-party app stores, side-loading, and alternative payment mechanisms.

There have been other successful lobbying efforts as well. Businesses will find it simpler to defend themselves against accusations of anti-competitive behavior now that the American Choice and Innovation Act has been updated in the Senate. Bloomberg reported that Apple lobbyists “pushed hard” for the change.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was initially reluctant to exploit his celebrity status for political gain, but he now appears to be a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill and often communicates with members of Congress. Considering Cook’s business strategy doesn’t involve collecting user data, he believes Apple should be handled differently than other companies.

A number of other lobbyists have taken notice as well. An Apple lobbyist told Bloomberg that “whenever we turn our heads, we find that Apple was also there, expressing their side of the argument.”

Also read: iPhone 14 screen surprise has been revealed in a new leak from Apple

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