Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly personally lobbying U.S. Congressmen and women in an effort to stop antitrust bills targeting Apple.
Emily Birnbaum for Bloomberg News:
Cook has become one of the country’s most politically active tech CEOs in recent years as Apple struggles to fend off antitrust legislation gaining traction in Congress. The company is ramping up its lobbying spending and hiring well-connected former congressional aides. And it’s cozying up to powerful Washington figures, often deploying Cook to make Apple’s arguments directly to lawmakers.
Since the beginning of 2021, Apple has registered three new lobbying shops with ties to key lawmakers in the antitrust fight. It’s also pulling lobbyists directly from the Capitol’s corridors, bringing in-house a former aide to Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Democrat leading the fight against Apple and other tech behemoths.
Apple disclosures show that its roster of in-house and outside lobbyists has increased by more than 50%, to 65 from 43, since 2015. Even so, the total number of lobbyists employed by the iPhone maker is lower than that of other major tech companies’ Washington operations, some of which have dozens more…
In the most recent regulatory push, Apple was caught flat-footed. The Obama administration looked the other way as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon grew into some of the largest and richest companies in history. But in recent years, antitrust scrutiny of the tech giants has spread across the world, traveling from Europe to the U.S.
[Cook] visited Washington at least twice in recent months. In June, when he was spotted in the Senate basement wearing a dark suit and tie, he met with Senator John Tester, the Montana Democrat, and numerous Republican senators, including Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Missouri Republican Roy Blunt.
First Bill Gates and now Apple’s Tim Cook moving through the Senate basement today pic.twitter.com/AG8E4wLTSG
— K Tully-McManus (@ktullymcmanus) June 9, 2022