Apple raised its lobbying efforts to a new record in the first quarter of 2015, although the company’s spending in the nation’s capital still lags well behind other tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, and others. Apple’s spending of $1.24 million represents a 16 percent year-over-year increase from the first quarter of 2014.
In a disclosure form published by the U.S. Senate this week, Apple revealed it spent $1.24 million on lobbying the U.S. federal government in the first quarter of calendar 2015. The issues addressed by Apple’s lobbyists cover a wide range, including digital textbooks, corporate tax reform, open Internet, and mobile medical applications.
Apple likely upped it’s lobbying at least in part, to push Apple Pay, its new mobile payments service. The U.S. government announced in February that it will accept Apple Pay for a number of transactions, including admission to national parks, beginning in September.
Facebook and Microsoft continued to outspend Apple, paying out $2.4 million and $1.89 million respectively in the first quarter of 2015. Both amounts were down year-over-year.
Comcast, likely in an effort to gain approval for its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, upped its lobbying spending by 50 percent, to $4.62 million. Despite the lobbying increase, the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to block the deal.
Other noteworthy lobbying expenditures came from Amazon who increased its spending by 130 percent in the quarter, paying out $1.91 million, as well as Intel ($1.17 million), AT&T ($4.37 million), Verizon ($3.35 million), and Time Warner Cable ($1.7 million).
Apple spent a record $4.1 million to lobby the U.S. government in 2014, an 18 percent increase from the previous year, Apple’s first quarter numbers indicate that we’ll likely see another new record set for Apple lobbyist spending again this year.