Tim Cook’s Apple is no stranger to standing up for social issues including marriage equality.
Almost a year ago to date, the company—not just Tim Cook—voiced public opposition to anti-gay legislation in Arizona which was surprisingly vetoed after weeks of public attention. The company also embraced last year’s annual Pride parade in San Francisco with an official video highlighting participation by thousand of employees and family members. There’s also Tim Cook’s widely praised essay published last year in which he first publicly acknowledged being gay—a first for a Fortune 500 chief executive.
So when Apple realized it hired a former politician with a history of promoting anti-gay legislation to lobby on its behalf to the Alabama Congress, it’s no surprise that the company reportedly severed ties with the individual…
Last month Apple hired Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, the law firm that has represented it in various patent cases against Samsung, to serve as the company’s lobbyists in Washington on matters regarding intellectual property and tech industry competition, PC World reports.
This year alone Apple has reportedly spent somewhere around $3 million on lobbying efforts, especially in the areas of consumer health legislation and international tax policy. Apple has a diverse group of lobbyists on its payroll, including five firms (now six with WilmerHale) and several in-house lawyers.
The lobbying disclosure form is below:
Apple has hired Amber Cottle as its new chief lobbyist, reports Politico. Before joining the Cupertino company, Cottle spent time as the Democratic Staff Director on the Senate Finance Committee, giving her a unique perspective on how Washington politics affect companies like Apple. Prior to serving the Finance Committee, Cottle was the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Investment.
In the past, Apple has not always focused heavily on lobbying efforts in Washington, and though the company hired a lobbying firm to represent them in 2011, the financial investment remains lower than that of many similar companies.
Regardless of past investment, however, Apple will likely need to get cozy with certain parts of the government, such as the FDA, in the near future as it prepares to enter the heavily-regulated medical device market. The company will also need a stronger presence in D.C. as the administration continues its promised reforms of the National Security Administration’s spying tactics.