Apple's D.C. Lobbying Efforts Get Fierce

Published on February 4, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Apple closed its big government affairs office in Washington, D.C., in the late ’90s and since that time has maintained a fairly low profile inside the Beltway, relative to other big tech firms.

Its 2010 lobbying spend was about $1.6 million. (Microsoft’s was $6.9 million.) But while it might seem that any lobbying Apple might need to do in Washington could be easily accomplished by a phone call from one of its directors–one in particular–evidently that’s not the case. Because the company has hired a new lobbying firm to help deal with its D.C. concerns: Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock.

It’s not clear why Apple hired the firm; lobbying disclosures say only that it will handle “innovation” issues for the company, and sources I’ve spoken with seem unaware of any big legislative pushes the company might be mulling. That said, Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock is a formidable lobbying firm with a number of executives who did stints in the Bush administration and the Republican National Committee, and a client list that includes some very big names: Coca-Cola, CTIA, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Ford, Time Warner and Oracle.

Think Larry Ellison got a referral fee?

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