Tim CookSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • New EU figures reveal Apple doubled its lobbying spending last year.
  • Figures show Apple roughly doubled its spending to more than $7M.
  • Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon also increased their spending.

Apple roughly doubled its spending lobbying the EU to more than $7M between October 2020 and September 2021, new figures show.

The EU's Transparency Register reveals spent between 6.5 and 7 million euros that year, employing a host of intermediaries including 21 persons involved in various activities.

Speaking to Politco, one researcher said that the update finally showed "how much Big Tech declares spending to lobby the EU while it prepared key new rules like the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act, and the Artificial Intelligence Act." Corporate Europe Observatory's Margarida Silva further stated that as expected, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all increased their lobbying budgets during this period. Apple spent 3.7 million euros the year before according to the report. By contrast, it spent less than a million euros in 2014.

Further review of the figures by iMore reveals the main legislative proposals Apple targeted include, as expected, the Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act, and legislation pertaining to privacy but also included CSAM, sustainable consumption of goods, batteries, packaging, and more.

Notably, on September 7 the Atlantic Council held a dinner in Brussels in partnership with Apple with the company's Chief Privacy Officer Jane Horvath "to (i) facilitate a discussion with Brussels based stakeholders on the EU's latest efforts to regulate platforms and its implications for privacy and security and (ii) to inform EU policy makers about Apple's approach to privacy."

EU records show representatives for Apple met with EU Commission representatives 15 times in 2021, and once so far in 2022. Most of the meetings took place virtually by video conference or WEBEX.