Apple ramped up lobbying as antitrust lawsuits and legislation loomed • OpenSecrets

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Apple flagship retail store in New York City, N.Y. in February 2020 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Apple spent a record $4.6 million on federal lobbying during the first six months of 2022 as the technology company faced growing pressure from Congress and federal investigators over its alleged monopolistic behavior, an OpenSecrets analysis of federal lobbying disclosures found. 

The record lobbying spending puts Apple on pace to exceed the $6.5 million paid during all of 2021. The company spent nearly $2.7 million during the first quarter of 2022 – the most it has ever spent – and dropped $1.9 million during the second quarter.

But after years-long investigations by the Department of Justice, Congress and the Federal Trade Commission into alleged anticompetitive behavior by Apple and other Silicon Valley tech giants — including Amazon, Google and Meta  —, POLITICO reported last week that lawyers at the DOJ are drafting an antitrust complaint against Apple.

Apple’s lobbyists reported lobbying on two Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust bills – the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act – more than any other piece of legislation in 2022 as of June 30. 

Apple takes aim at antitrust bills

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would prevent large online platforms from giving preference to their own products. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) – the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights – introduced the bill, which Grassley said aims to “level the playing field for small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

The Open App Markets Act, introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D–Conn.), Marsha Blackburn (R–Tenn.) and Klobuchar, would require companies to permit users to download apps from sources other than proprietary app stores. Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store wield a “concentrated duopoly” over the mobile app market, according to Mark MacCarthy, senior fellow at the Institute for Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown Law School and nonresident…

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