Apple Inc has created a huge amount of wealth for society. But government bureaucrats think that they know best
how things should be run.
But Apple’s aggressive exploitation of its immensely popular iPhone, iPad and sprawling online marketplace for music and digital applications has raised the eyebrows of regulators and lawmakers, who worry the company’s dominance might stifle competition. . . .
Such complaints are leading Apple to become more engaged in Washington. Since its dramatic growth began in 2003 — the value of its shares has skyrocketed to more than $300 billion from $2.5 billion — the Cupertino, Calif., company has more than tripled its federal lobbying expenses to $1.6 million last year.
In February, the company boosted its forces by hiring the high-powered Washington lobbying firm of Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock. And Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has met with President Obama twice in the last five months, unusual forays into the political arena for the company’s co-founder. Those moves help Apple make its case to policymakers and regulators on issues that affect it, as well as help the company learn about potential problems and pending legislation before they become public. Still, Apple remains a surprisingly small-time player inside the Beltway. . . .
Labels: antitrust, Regulation