During his interview at Time 100, Tim Cook said that Apple doesn’t have a Political Action Committee (PAC). While that may be true, that doesn’t mean the company completely says away from politics. vpnMentor analyzed all of the lobbying reports submitted to the S House of Representatives (since 2005) by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Here’s what Apple spends its money on.
- Tax: 76%
- Patents: 45%
- Privacy: 45%
- Copyright: 25%
- Cybersecurity: 21%
- Technical barriers to trade: 21%
- Competition: 17%
- Data breaches: 10%
- Health data: 10%
- Autonomous vehicles: 9%
Apple is in the lead for health lobbying, which it first started in 2014. It has 10% of its money dedicated to health. Health data has been mentioned in US$32.6 million worth of Apple submissions to date, including US$8.3 million in 2018. The company also lobbies hard on tax laws, with 76% of its reports mentioning tax taking up US$9.3 million in 2018.
Out of the big five tech companies in this report, only Apple is lobbying Congress to preserver technical barriers to trade. It’s mentioned in 21% of its reports and first started appearing in reports in 2007. vpnMentor says this is likely due to the App Store and how it’s a closed ecosystem. In 2018 the total lobbying money for trade was US$8.3 million.
Apple is in third place when it comes to privacy lobbying. The company mentioned privacy in 45% of its reports, compared to Google (64%) and Facebook (61%). Apple contributed US$8.9 million to privacy lobbying.
Finally, despite Apple having no autonomous vehicle, the company leads the way on lobbying for autonomous vehicles at 9%, compared to Google (7%) and Amazon (3%).